Economics Professor Helps Reform Gender Equality Index

Eduardo ZambranoEconomics Professor Eduardo Zambrano has proposed a reformulation of the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Centre.

The index aims to measure and analyze the origins of inequalities in 110 countries, including formal and informal laws, social norms, and practices that restrict or exclude women. According to research, social institutions, when discriminatory, limit progress on gender equality on education, employment, levels of poverty and marginalization, and participation in the political sphere.

The SIGI aggregates information regarding gender inequalities in the following five broad categories: discriminatory family code (including rules around early marriage and inheritance), restricted physical integrity (including violence against women or genital mutilation), son bias, restricted resources and assets (including secure access to land and financial services), and restricted civil liberties (including access to public space and a political voice). Zambrano aims to adjust the substitutability between indicators and how each variable is weighted within the index to better reflect progress made in these core variables.

Zambrano presented his findings to the OECD in Paris in early September.

He has worked on similar international index efforts on behalf of the United Nations’ programs on development and the environment. Zambrano has also been recognized as one of Orfalea’s outstanding professors. In 2015, he was named a Jacobsen Faculty Fellow and was honored with the college’s Distinguished Teaching Award.