Economics of Gender: An Asian and Comparative Perspective

  • Summer schools
  • Academic Partnerships Office
  • Application code LPS-EC208
  • Starting 2018

This course will offer students a good understanding of progress towards gender equality across the world today, with a strong focus on China in a comparative and global perspective.

It will also provide participants with the necessary in-depth economic understanding and empirical evidence to answer questions such as: Why has the position of women changed so dramatically in the last 50 years, and in history? Why does it differ from country to country to this day? Why is women’s pay and work, and position in the household, still far from equal? Is this injurious to women’s welfare only, or to all? What policies and environments can lead to greater gender equality? 

Video Play EC208 16.9

“Fortunately in 2017 there is no great need to justify why you should be interested in gender and gender equality.” Dr Judith Shapiro, Undergraduate Tutor in the Department of Economics at LSE.

Click here to see the full course outline

Programme details


Dr Judith Shapiro 

Dr Judith Shapiro is the Undergraduate Tutor in the Department of Economics at LSE. Her research interests include the economics of post-transition and transition (with a particular focus on Russia), and the economics of health and population. She has previously held positions as Chief of the Transition Economics Section of the United Nations Economics Commission for Europe and professor at Moscow’s New Economic School.

Listen to Dr Judith Shapiro argue that the next steps towards equality for women will be far harder than those which went before, available on BBC Radio 4 available on iPlayer.

Student feedback

"The discussions in class were very interesting and challenging." Shutian Fu, University of Warwick, United Kingdom

"Very interesting lectures, very interesting to hear the perspectives of Chinese students." Robin Holly Bailie, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Indonesia

Click here to read more of our alumni testimonials.


There are no prerequisites for this course. Students should not be uncomfortable with numbers, data graphs and statistics, but the course will be accessible to all, with more quantitative and challenging material strictly optional and not in the lectures or core readings.


Assessment will be based on a mid-term essay (worth 50% of the final mark) and a final exam (worth 50% of the final mark).

Preparatory reading list

The list below provides an indication of some of the main recommended texts for the course. A full reading list and course pack will be provided to registered students approximately six weeks before the beginning of the programme.

For students with no previous study of economics the following textbook is excellent background, but in no sense required , except for brief selections which will be in the coursepack:

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen, The Economics of Gender , 3rd ed, Blackwell Publishing (2007).

For students with some previous study of economics, this textbook is also excellent, particularly on bargaining within the household, which will explain , with a non-technical beginners‘ introduction to Game Theory.

  • Mukesh Eswaran, Why Gender Matters in Economics , Princeton University Press (2014).

We will make good use of the World Bank’s Towards Gender Equality in East Asia and the Pacific, (2012), from the first day you may wish to read or at least skim the first 2 chapters in advance.

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