Global Trends in Intra-household Gender Inequality

59 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021

See all articles by Deepak Malghan

Deepak Malghan

IIM Bangalore

Hema Swaminathan

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore

Date Written: July 7, 2021


We present trends in intra-household gender inequality for forty five different countries across a four decade period (1973{2016), using global micro-data from 2.85 million households. Intra-household gender inequality has declined by 20% in the four decades that we study. However, current levels are still significant so that any neglect of intra-household gender inequality results in a substantial underestimation of overall earnings inequality. For a sub-sample of countries, we show that the relationship between intra-household gender inequality and household economic status is non-monotonic {that we refer to as the \micro-GKC" (micro Gender Kuznets Curve) relationship. We also develop an empirical framework to measure the aggregate welfare loss from intra-household gender inequality. For a range of plausible inequality aversion assumptions, we report a median welfare loss of over 15% of aggregate earnings.

Keywords: Micro-GKC, Atkinson Inequality Metric, Gender Equality, LIS & LWS

Suggested Citation

Malghan, Deepak and Swaminathan, Hema, Global Trends in Intra-household Gender Inequality (July 7, 2021). IIM Bangalore Research Paper No. 645, Available at SSRN: or

Hema Swaminathan

Indian Institute of Management (IIMB), Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560076

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