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Fridays Academy: Gender Budgeting

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

As usual on Fridays, from Raj Nallari and Breda Griffith's lecture notes.


Gender Budgeting - Why and How (cont.)


In terms of analytical tools for the introduction of GRGB, Saraff (2003) suggests a two-fold approach that emphasizes pre-budgeting tools and post-budgeting tools. These are presented in the box below.  The first three points form the pre-budgeting tools. They emphasize the participatory approach to budget preparation and are mindful of the influence of government expenditures on females. In line with the discussion above, they also focus on the training of personnel for the gender dimension by including gender cost-benefit analysis either as an adjunct to the other “prebudget analyses, such as economic, social, and environmental cost-benefit analysis” (p. 10) or as a stand-alone tool (Saraff, 2003).  The final two points represent the post-budgeting tools and focus on the impact of government programs on females and the contribution these are making to improving gender equality. These tools would in turn influence the prebudgeting tools in the research on future budgets.



Stotsky (2006) examines benefit incidence analysis (BIA) that goes beyond the public expenditure incidence analysis identified in the box.   BIA uses the cost of providing public goods and services as way to approximate benefits and circumvents the difficulties in trying to use price as a measure of value for publicly provided goods and services. A number of methods typify benefit incidence analysis, viz. the government’s cost of provision, compensating (or equivalent) variations from estimated demand functions, a simple binary (0/1) indicator of use, and contingent valuation (Stotsky, 2006; p. 19).  The binary approach is a simple approach that relies on responses on whether an individual has received the service or not.  Difficulty lies in the in-built assumption that all services provided are equal and that each individual derives the same utility maximization from these. In reality, research indicates the poorer recipients derive less benefit from government spending compared with wealthier recipients, see Younger, 1999 and Sahn and Younger, 2000.  Contingent valuations refers to surveys that ask how much a good or service is worth.  Practically such surveys are not generally available, despite their theoretical attractiveness.

In summary, gender budgeting in practice should form part of the macro fiscal framework of the economy and its microeconomic dimensions should have advice to offer on the composition of spending and revenues.  The macro fiscal aspect of gender budgeting may lie in advice about government stabilization policies and possible gender impacts.  It may address issues of economic stability and their ramifications for the labor and financial markets bearing in mind the gender dimension. Furthermore, if inequalities exist in education and health policies, the macro fiscal impact would suggest changes in the expenditure and taxation policies for these ministries.  To this end, the microeconomic dimension may suggest different structures for spending programs and taxes, perhaps advocating greater spending on education and health programs or reduced fees in these areas that would be linked to improved gender equality in education and healthcare. Furthermore, “gender-budgeting might have advice to offer with respect to the means of financing a deficit, the use of public assets, or the division of responsibilities among different levels of government” (Stotsky, 2006; p. 16).  Rama (2002) examines the gender implications of public sector downsizing in Vietnam. He highlights the several types of gender-aware analyses that could be conducted before launching such programs. His conclusions suggest that:

  • “Women’s salaried jobs following displacement from state-owned enterprises initially worsened but were likely to improve
  • Reforms were associated with a  significant decline in gender gap in earnings both within and without the state sector
  • Overstaffing is greater in sectors dominated by men (construction, mining and transportation)
  • Training and assistance programs indicated no gender-bias
  • Severance packages were more favorable to men; lump sum packages