Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

PDR

THE PAKISTAN DEVELOPMENT REVIEW 

Investing in All the People (The Quaid-i-Azam Lecture)

I am honoured to have the privilege of addressing thisdistinguished conference. I have read about Pakistan’s accomplishmentsand problems for many years and since coming to the World Bank I havefollowed your government’s bold reform efforts closely. I feel fortunateto finally have the opportunity to visit your country. I decided tospeak today on “Investing in All the People” because an extensive bodyof recent research has convinced me that once all the benefits arerecognised, investment in the education of girls may well be the highestreturn investment available in the developing world. And, as I will makeclear, increasing the education of girls is an especially high priorityfor Pakistan. Women’s education may seem an odd topic for an economistto address. But enhancing women’s contribution to development is as muchan economic as a social issue. Economics, with its emphasis onincentives, provides a useful way to understand why so many girls aredeprived of education and employment opportunities. And concretecalculations demonstrate that there are enormous economic benefits toinvesting in women.

Lawrence H. Summers

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