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Gender Inequality and Policy

Paper Session

Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Hilton Atlanta, Crystal C
Hosted By: Association for Social Economics, Association for Evolutionary Economics & International Association for Feminist Economics
  • Chair: Quentin Wodon, World Bank

The Global Cost of Gender Inequality

Quentin Wodon
World Bank


Despite gains among others in education and health over the last two decades, women still have today fewer opportunities than men in most countries. This lack of opportunities for girls and women entails large economic costs not only for them, but also for their households and countries. Achieving gender equality would have dramatic benefits for women and girls’ welfare and agency. It would greatly benefit their households and communities, and help countries reach their full development potential. Gender equality would help increase women’s earnings, agency, and voice. It would reduce fertility in countries with high population growth, as well as reduce under-five mortality and stunting, thereby ushering the benefits of the demographic dividend. Building in part on estimates by gender of human capital wealth (measured as the present value of the future earnings of the labor force) prepared for a recent World Bank report on the changing wealth of nations, this paper aims to measure the economic cost of gender inequality globally and regionally by looking at the impacts of gender inequality and the associated costs in multiple domains, including earnings. The paper also aims to provide a synthesis of the available evidence on successful programs and policies that have been shown to contribute to gender equality with again a focus on earnings. In so doing, the paper contributes to the theme of the ASE program "Beyond the Machine: Economies as Social Institutions" by discussing how social norms contribute to gender inequality, and what can be done to achieve equality.

Fiscal Policy Effectiveness on Gender Equality in Asia Pacific: Efficacy of Gender Budgeting

Lekha Chakraborty
National Institute of Public Finance & Policy
Mirian G. Ingrams
Yadawendra Singh
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Komal Jain
National Institute of Public Finance & Policy


Gender budgeting is a fiscal approach that seeks to use a country’s national and/or local budget(s) to reduce inequality and promote economic growth and equitable development. While the literature has explored the connection between reducing gender inequality and achieving growth and equitable development, more empirical analysis is needed on whether gender budgeting reduces gender inequality. Our study follows the methodology of Stotsky and Zaman (2016) to investigate the impact of gender budgeting on promoting gender equality across Asia Pacific countries, as well as the effects of increasing fiscal spending on health and education. The study classifies Asia Pacific countries as gender budgeting or non-gender budgeting according to whether they have formalized gender budgeting initiatives in laws and/or budget call circulars. To measure the effect of gender budgeting on reducing inequality, we measure the correlation between gender budgeting and the Gender Development Index (GDI) and the Gender Inequality Index (GII) scores in each country. The data for our gender inequality variables are mainly drawn from the IMF database on gender indicators and the World Development Indicators (WDI) database over the 1990–2013 period. Our results show that gender budgeting has a significant effect on increasing the GDI and a small but significant potential to reduce the GII, strengthening the rationale for employing gender budgeting to promote inclusive development. However, our empirical results show no prioritization for gender budgeting in the fiscal space of health and education sectors in the region.

Are Tanzania Development Budgets Gender Responsive: Insights from National and District Development Budgets from Financial Years 2013/14 to 2017/2018

Rasel Mpuya Madaha
Sokoine University of Agriculture


The budgeting process needs to be empowering to accommodate the needs of marginalized people. The allocation in the budgeting process needs to reflect and address life challenges of marginalized citizens particularly women, poor men, and people with Disabilities (PWDs). This article argues that the government, non-governmental organizations, and parliamentarians need to allocate developmental resources with a gender lens. As such, this article analyses the national budget of Tanzania for Financial Year (FY) 2016/2017 and draws particular attention to health, water, and agriculture national developmental budgets. An analysis of secondary sources related to the budgeting process has been accompanied by qualitative analysis of the views of grassroots community activists, journalists, students and representatives of civil societies.. The sites are Dar es salaam, Mbeya, Morogoro and Shinyanga administrative regions of Tanzania. Overall, the development budgets are not gender responsive. The analysis presented in this paper is by the author and does not represent any organization including TGNP. The article aims at promoting increased gender responsiveness of the budgeting process with a focus on the areas of health, water, and agriculture.
JEL Classifications
  • I3 - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
  • Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology