Can women empowerment explain cross-country differences in inequality? A global perspective

Cong Wang, Amjad Naveed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the relationship between women empowerment and income inequality. In particular, we examine whether empowering women in terms of raising their political, social and economic rights reduce income inequality. Furthermore, this paper also sheds light on the effects of women empowerment on income inequality in different economies characterized by income differences. Using data for 134 countries from 1945 to 2015, we estimate a panel data model with treatment for endogeneity, controlling for savings rate, arable land rate and age-dependency ratio. Our results indicate that women empowerment in all three aspects (social, political and economic) plays an important role in reducing income inequality. This effect is more prominent in lower-middle and upper-middle income countries and is robust to different measures of inequality and women empowerment, and an alternative estimation technique that takes care of endogeneity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-697
Number of pages31
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number2
Early online date25 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Economic growth
  • Global panel data
  • Income inequality
  • Women empowerment


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