To read this content please select one of the options below:

The effect of women’s representation on the Global Gender Gap Index

Sharon Mastracci (Department of Political Science, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




The purpose of this paper is to find the most important factors to the Index that explains gender gaps in education, health, politics, and economic outcomes worldwide.


World Economic Forum (WEF) data are analyzed using hedonic regression analysis to estimate which factors affect a country’s Global Gender Gap Index. Standardized β coefficients reveal the top five factors influencing the Index, just as key components of the US Consumer Price Index are teased out using this method.


Women in public sector management, administration, and politics explain a substantial portion of gender inequality. Policies to increase women’s representation in parliaments, as heads of state, in ministerial positions, and in public sector management mitigate inequality as gauged by the Gender Gap Index. Economic indicators are also among the leading components of the Gender Gap Index.

Research limitations/implications

Although comprehensive and drawn from several sources including the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, and the United Nations Development Programme, WEF data do not capture the full experience of women worldwide. Subsequent qualitative research is recommended.

Practical implications

This analysis reveals policy recommendations for advocates working to close gender gaps, particularly in politics and economic outcomes. Increasing proportions of women in public sector management can mitigate inequality. This supports electoral quotas and human resource management initiatives to diversify management ranks.

Social implications

Increasing women’s share of public sector managerial positions fosters gender equity, as does increasing women’s share of elected and appointed positions.


This study provides quantitative evidence of the important role of women’s representation to guide subsequent fieldwork. This evidence supports efforts to increase women in elective office and public sector management.



Mastracci, S. (2017), "The effect of women’s representation on the Global Gender Gap Index", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 241-254.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles