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

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  • Angela Hawken
  • Gerardo Munck

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Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

  • Angela Hawken & Gerardo Munck, 2013. "Cross-National Indices with Gender-Differentiated Data: What Do They Measure? How Valid Are They?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(3), pages 801-838, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:111:y:2013:i:3:p:801-838
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-012-0035-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    5. 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.
    6. Iñaki Permanyer, 2010. "The Measurement of Multidimensional Gender Inequality: Continuing the Debate," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 181-198, January.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
    10. A. Dijkstra, 2002. "Revisiting UNDP's GDI and GEM: Towards an Alternative," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 301-338, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holvoet, Nathalie & Inberg, Liesbeth, 2013. "Multiple Pathways to Gender-Sensitive Budget Support in the Education Sector: Analysing the Effectiveness of Sex-Disaggregated Indicators in Performance Assessment Frameworks and Gender Working Groups," WIDER Working Paper Series 105, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Janet Gale Stotsky & Sakina Shibuya & Lisa L Kolovich & Suhaib Kebhaj, 2016. "Trends in Gender Equality and Women’s Advancement," IMF Working Papers 16/21, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Aggarwal, Bhavya & Chakraborty, Lekha S, 2015. "Towards 2030 UN Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals: Technical Challenges in Measuring the Gender Inequality for Asia Pacific," MPRA Paper 67049, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Martha Elena Aguiar Barrera & Humberto Gutiérrez Pulido, 2017. "Desigualdad de género y cambios sociodemográficos en México," Nóesis. Revista de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Administración, vol. 26, pages 2-19, 51.
    5. Bhavya Aggarwal & Lekha S. Chakraborty, 2016. "The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Measuring Gender Inequality: A Technical Articulation for Asia-Pacific," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_859, Levy Economics Institute.
    6. Aggarwal, Bhavya & Chakraborty, Lekha, 2015. "Towards 2030 UN Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals: Technical Challenges in Measuring Gender Inequality in Asia Pacific," Working Papers 15/157, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    7. Neetu A. John & Kirsten Stoebenau & Samantha Ritter & Jeffrey Edmeades & Nikola Balvin & UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, 2017. "Gender Socialization during Adolescence in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Conceptualization, influences and outcomes," Papers indipa885, Innocenti Discussion Papers.

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