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Cross-National Indices with Gender-Differentiated Data: What Do They Measure? How Valid Are They?

  • Angela Hawken
  • Gerardo Munck

    ()

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    The two cross-national indices with gender-differentiated data introduced by the UNDP in 1995, as well as several other such indices developed subsequently, are an important resource for researchers and policy makers interested in gender disparities. Yet questions remain regarding how these indices should be interpreted and how valid they are. Relying on a framework that synthesizes key guidelines concerning the methodology of measurement, this article offers an assessment of indices currently used to study gender disparities on a global scale and sheds light on these unresolved questions. We answer two questions—what do these indices with gender-differentiated data actually measure? and, how valid are these indices?—and discuss the implications of our assessment for users and producers of gender indices. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-012-0035-7
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 111 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 801-838

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:111:y:2013:i:3:p:801-838
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135

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    1. Inaki Permanyer, 2008. "On the Measurement of Gender Equality and Gender-related Development Levels," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 87-108.
    2. Jacques Charmes & Saskia Wieringa, 2003. "Measuring Women's Empowerment: An assessment of the Gender-related Development Index and the Gender Empowerment Measure," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 419-435.
    3. Boris Branisa & Stephan Klasen & Maria Ziegler, 2009. "The Construction of the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 184, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Johannes Jutting & Christian Morrisson & Jeff Dayton-Johnson & Denis Drechsler, 2008. "Measuring Gender (In)Equality: The OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 65-86.
    5. A. Dijkstra, 2002. "Revisiting UNDP's GDI and GEM: Towards an Alternative," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 301-338, March.
    6. Johannes P. Jütting & Christian Morrison & Jeff Dayton-Johnson & Denis Drechsler, 2006. "The Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base," OECD Development Centre Policy Insights 16, OECD Publishing.
    7. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
    8. Stephan Klasen, 2006. "UNDP's Gender-related Measures: Some Conceptual Problems and Possible Solutions," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 243-274.
    9. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
    10. Iñaki Permanyer, 2010. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Gender Inequality: Continuing the Debate," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 181-198, January.
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