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Why we should all care about social institutions related to gender inequality

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  • Boris Branisa

    (University of Göttingen)

  • Stephan Klasen

    (University of Göttingen)

  • Maria Ziegler

    (University of Göttingen)

Abstract

Institutions are a major factor explaining development outcomes. This study focuses on social institutions related to gender inequality understood as long-lasting norms, values and codes of conduct that shape gender roles, and presents evidence on why they matter for development. We derive hypotheses from existing theories and empirically test them at the cross-country level with linear regressions using the newly created Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) and its subindices as measures for social institutions. We find that apart from geography, political system, religion, the level of economic development, one has to consider social institutions related to gender inequality to better account for differences in development. Our results show that social institutions that deprive women of their autonomy and bargaining power in the household, or that increase the private costs and reduce the private returns to investments into girls, are associated with lower female education, higher fertility rates and higher child mortality. Moreover, social institutions related to gender inequality are negatively associated with governance measured as rule of law and voice and accountability.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 15.

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Date of creation: 13 Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:015

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Keywords: Social institutions; SIGI; Gender inequality; Fertility; Child and infant mortality; Female education; Governance;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Branisa, Boris & Ziegler, Maria, 2011. "Reexamining the link between gender and corruption: The role of social institutions," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 15, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  2. Seo-Young Cho, 2011. "Integrating Equality - Globalization, Women’s Rights, Son Preference and Human Trafficking," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 73, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  3. Gaëlle Ferrant, 2014. "The Multidimensional Gender Inequalities Index (MGII): A Descriptive Analysis of Gender Inequalities Using MCA," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 653-690, January.
  4. Potrafke, Niklas & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2012. "Globalization and gender equality in the course of development," Munich Reprints in Economics 19305, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Bandiera, Oriana & Natraj, Ashwini, 2013. "Does gender inequality hinder development and economic growth ? evidence and policy implications," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6369, The World Bank.
  6. Boris Branisa & Stephan Klasen & Maria Ziegler, 2009. "New Measures of Gender Inequality: The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)and its Subindices," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 10, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  7. Niklas Potrafke & Heinrich Ursprung, 2011. "Globalization and Gender Equality in Developing Countries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2011-33, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.

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