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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boris Branisa & Stephan Klasen & Maria Ziegler, 2009. "Why we should all care about social institutions related to gender inequality," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 15, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:gotcrc:015
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    Cited by:

    1. Oriana Bandiera & Ashwini Natraj, 2013. "Does Gender Inequality Hinder Development and Economic Growth? Evidence and Policy Implications," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 2-21, February.
    2. Konte, M., 2014. "Gender difference in support for democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do social institutions matter?," MERIT Working Papers 009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. 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.
    4. repec:rom:campco:v:9:y:2013:i:1:p:127-138 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Boris Branisa & Maria Ziegler, 2010. "Reexamining the link between gender and corruption: The role of social institutions," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 24, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    6. Potrafke, Niklas & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 2012. "Globalization and gender equality in the course of development," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 399-413.
    7. Gheorghe H. POPESCU & Elvira NICA, 2013. "Gender Equality And Global Economic Governance," Proceedings of Administration and Public Management International Conference, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 9(1), pages 127-138, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Elvira NICA & Gheorghe H. POPESCU, 2013. "Gender Differences In Strategy And Human Resource Management," Proceedings of Administration and Public Management International Conference, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 9(1), pages 113-126, June.
    11. Gaëlle Ferrant, 2014. "The Multidimensional Gender Inequalities Index (MGII): A Descriptive Analysis of Gender Inequalities Using MCA," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 115(2), pages 653-690, January.
    12. repec:rom:campco:v:9:y:2013:i:1:p:113-126 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • H1 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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