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Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM): Some Specific Proposals

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Abstract

In 2005 and 2006, the Human Development Report Office undertook a review of UNDP’s gender-related indicators, particularly the Gender-Related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). Background papers as well as the results of the process were published in 2006 (e.g. Klasen 2006a), and summarized in the Human Development Report 2006. Here we extend this work by adjusting and extending some of the recommendations made there, by making concrete proposals for the two gender-related indicators and by presenting illustrative results for these proposed measures. The most important proposals include the calculation of a male and female HDI, as well as a gender gap index GGI to replace the GDI, that can be interpreted more directly as a measure of gender inequality. Regarding the GEM, the most important changes are different ways to deal with the earned income component and also to replace it with a more straight-forward procedure to calculate the measure. As shown below, the ranking of countries are very different for the new measures proposed here, compared to the current GDI and GEM.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Klasen & Dana Schüler, 2009. "Reforming the Gender-Related Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM): Some Specific Proposals," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 186, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:186
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    File URL: http://www2.vwl.wiso.uni-goettingen.de/ibero/working_paper_neu/DB186.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grimm, Michael & Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan & Misselhorn, Mark, 2008. "A Human Development Index by Income Groups," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2527-2546, December.
    2. Sudhir Anand and Amartya Sen, 1995. "Gender Inequality in Human Development: Theories and Measurement," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-1995-01, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
    3. Stephan Klasen, 2006. "Guest Editor's Introduction," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 145-159.
    4. Kalpana Bardhan & Stephan Klasen, 2000. "On UNDP's Revisions to the Gender-Related Development Index," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 191-195.
    5. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    6. 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. Ulrike Jäger & Anja Hülsewig, 2009. "Women's Empowerment: Gender-related Indices as a Guide for Policy," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(4), pages 37-50, 01.
    2. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender inequality measures; GDI; GEM; UNDP;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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