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Gender-Related Indicators of Well-Being

  • Klasen, Stephan

This paper discusses the rationale as well as the challenges involved when constructing gender-related indicators of well-being. It argues that such indicators are critically important but that their construction involved a number of conceptual and measurement problems. Among the conceptual issues to be considered are the space in which gender inequality in well-being is to be measured, whether the indicators should track well being of males and females separately or adjust overall measures of well-being by the gender inequality in well-being, whether gender equality in every indicator is necessarily the goal, how to assess gender inequality that is apparently desired by males and females, and what role indicators of agency or empowerment should play in gender-related indicators of well-being. Among the most important measurement issues to be addressed are the role of the household in allocating resources, the question of stocks versus flows, as well as significant data gaps when it comes to gender inequalities. Where appropriate, remedies to the conceptual and measurement issues are proposed. The paper also briefly reviews UNDP’s gender-related indices to illustrate some of the challenges involved.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2004/dp2004-05.pdf
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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Research Paper DP2004/05.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:dp2004-05
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  1. Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
  2. Gasper, Des, 2004. "Human Well-being: Concepts and Conceptualizations," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
  4. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
  5. Abu-Ghaida, Dina & Klasen, Stephan, 2004. "The Costs of Missing the Millennium Development Goal on Gender Equity," IZA Discussion Papers 1031, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-49, November.
  7. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  9. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
  10. Stephan Klasen & Claudia Wink, 2003. ""Missing Women": Revisiting The Debate," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 263-299.
  11. Waldron, Ingrid, 1993. "Recent trends in sex mortality ratios for adults in developed countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 451-462, February.
  12. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  13. Gasper, D.R., 2004. "Human well-being : concepts and conceptualizations," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19148, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  14. Klasen, Stephan, 1994. ""Missing women" reconsidered," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 1061-1071, July.
  15. Stephan Klasen, 2002. "Low Schooling for Girls, Slower Growth for All? Cross-Country Evidence on the Effect of Gender Inequality in Education on Economic Development," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(3), pages 345-373, December.
  16. Cigno, Alessandro & Rosati, Furio C. & Tzannatos, Zafiris, 2002. "Child labor handbook," Social Protection Discussion Papers 25507, The World Bank.
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