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GDP is not a hard number but an estimation in which several hypothesis come into play, and of course with hypothesis comes the gender data gap. Caroline Criado Perez argues that by not taking into account the amount of unpaid work done by women, countries fail at having an accurate measure of GDP @criadoperez2020Invisible women: exposing data bias in a world designed for men . And this can be one of the root causes of not being able to formulate policies that boost the numbers by taking into account the role of women in the economy.

An example, is the cost of child care, which is traditionally done by women, but that the state would have to pay for if one wants women to become economically active. In Invisible Women - Caroline Criado Perez, she argues that the cost of child care outweighs the value that women could produce if they would enter the work force.

However, it all boils down to available data, and GDP in that regard is biased, and it would be very tough for a government to justify measures that don't boost GDP per-se. In the book, the author also defines a new category called "Social Infrastructure", that should be placed on-pair with other types of infrastructure, such as roads and hospitals. This normally relates to the unpaid work done by women, such as caring for the elderly or children, but also other tasks that relate to the household and are in the hands of women (depending on the county, this goes from taking care of the animals, to grocery, to domestic duties.)

According to Criado Perez, if one would invest in social infrastructure, that would automatically lead to the generation of work for women (for example, investing in child care would boost child care services which are most likely run by women) and it would free up the time of women to enter into the formal work force. This would, in turn, have a boost to the overall economy of a country.

Literature Note: Invisible Women - Caroline Criado Perez

tags: #bias-in-economics #gdp-is-not-gender-neutral #gender-data-gap

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