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To Measure is to Know? A Comparative Analysis of Gender Indices

Listed author(s):
  • van Staveren, I.P.

The paper presents a comparative analysis of five cross country composite gender indices. Although there is a relatively high correlation between the indices, the overlap of underlying indicators is low. Country rankings, both at the top and at the bottom have parallels but are quite distinct. The differences are explained in two ways: methodologically and theoretically. The methodological differences concern in particular weights, capping, and aggregation. The Capability Approach explains the theoretical differences, by distinguishing between four stages, which include distinct types of indicators. The substantial differences that exist between the gender indices require a cautious selection between these for research and policy analysis. This is shown in a few examples with policy variables. Finally, the paper presents a set of three decision trees which enables an informed choice between the indices. The paper ends with a conclusion.

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File URL: https://repub.eur.nl/pub/26763/ISS-ISD%20Working%20Paper%202011-02.pdf
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Paper provided by International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague in its series ISD Working Paper Series with number 2011-02.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:ems:eurisd:26763
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  1. Sabina Alkire, 2007. "The Missing Dimensions of Poverty Data: Introduction to the Special Issue," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 347-359.
  2. 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.
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