Journal article Open Access

The Institutional Basis of Gender Inequality: The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI)

Branisa, Boris; Klasen, Stephan; Ziegler, Maria; Drechsler, Denis; Jütting, Johannes

This study uses variables from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Centre's Gender, Institutions and Development (GID) Database to construct the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) and its subindices Family code, Civil liberties, Physical integrity, Son preference, and Ownership rights. Instead of measuring gender inequality in outcomes, the SIGI and its subindices measure long-lasting social institutions defined as societal practices and legal norms that frame gender roles. The SIGI combines them into a multidimensional index of women's deprivation caused by gendered social institutions. Inspired by the Foster–Greer–Thorbecke poverty measures, the SIGI offers a new way of aggregating gender inequality by penalizing high inequality in each dimension and allowing only partial compensation between subindices. The indices identify countries and dimensions of gendered social institutions that deserve attention. Empirical results confirm that the SIGI complements other gender-related indices.

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