One Bad Formula Can Spoil Everything: A Simple Adjustment That Would Improve the UN's Gender Inequality Index
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A simple change in one part of the definition of the United Nations Gender Inequality Index (GII) could go a long way toward making it less problematic and more useful. In the definition of the GII we propose to replace the quantity where m is the maternal mortality rate and t is the teen pregnancy rate, by where C1 and C2 are constants. This alternative formula is a natural one, both because of how it combines with the other factors that go into the GII and because it is similar to the way that the problem of near-zero denomina- tors is handled in other areas of applied mathematics. The precise meaning of t and m and suggested values for C1 and C2 will be given below. We will explain the computation of the GII, discuss the other three indicators that it is based on, and show that the simple change from aF to AF would have useful consequences without altering the conceptual underpinning of the GII.