Johann Samarasinghe

BOSTON—A Harvard Business School study led by former governor of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has found that single women like Boris Johnson can help create “some of the most sustainable economies in the world.”

That work will be highlighted when Johnson, the mayor of London, speaks on the topic at a campaign event in Boston Thursday night, according to a statement released by the City of Boston International Trade Commission.

Johnson also will participate in a panel discussion Thursday night on “Economic Mobility: Gaining Economic Mobility to Innovation.”

The study was conducted for the nonprofit Who Could Save the World?, which is focused on ways to help residents of low-income countries become part of “new high-paying jobs.” The task force produced a report in June suggesting a possible solution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, set in 2015 to target all people in the world by 2030. The report called for “a global effort to create a culture of inclusion and equality to build a safe, productive, and just society for all.”

The U.K. Center for Economics and Business Research estimates that one child in nine births is a record and abortion services are often a high cost, costing parents an estimated £3,500 ($4,400) per child or more than 50 percent of their initial child support—higher than the rate of pregnancy and birth, according to the Boston researchers. The U.K. Center found that single moms, who are often born out of wedlock, contributed to about 0.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, but was the single largest cause of added costs to gross domestic product at 8.5 percent.

“Sadly in the U.K., the rising number of single mothers continues to add significant costs to the economy,” said Melissa Callaway, the group’s managing director. “We are encouraging policy makers, local government and businesses to support some of the country’s brightest young people to break out of the cycle of single motherhood and pursue the possibility of a high-paid career outside the home, not just to give back to society, but also to promote positive change.”

Billionaire philanthropist George Soros, the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants, founded the San Francisco-based group in 1989, which seeks to create opportunity for women in order to end poverty, disease and hunger worldwide. The group released its first study in 2016, and earlier this year launched a new campaign, “If women work, make money: Making a difference,” in an effort to change the U.S. “do-nothing” attitude that he sees as contributing to the state of women in America.

“Because single mothers can’t have more children because they have exhausted all the credits they were earning, they are saddled with the burdens of child-care loans, school loans, and other financial constraints that sometimes weigh on them beyond the price of raising their child,” Soros said in a statement. “Women do the important work of raising children, but don’t make a lot of money, so the social pressure can become too much. And because they earn less than men, they have less leverage to influence social or economic issues.”

The Boston research specifically said single mothers can provide an “unprecedented opportunity” for low-income women and their children as the U.K. does on landmines.