جداسازی نفوذ سرمایه داری و دموکراسی به منظور رفاه زنان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|8583||2008||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 67, Issues 3–4, September 2008, Pages 560–572
This empirical analysis seeks to determine which institutional arrangement, capitalism or democracy, tends to be more effective at improving women's well-being and promoting gender equality in society. Country-specific indexes measuring the degree of economic freedoms that exist within the market and the degree of political rights that exist within a democracy are used in a panel data analysis to explain the observed levels of various quality of life measures reflecting issues that are relevant to women. These empirical results indicate that capitalism often has a stronger beneficial impact on many aspects of women's well-being and gender equality in society.
Francis Fukuyama (1992) has famously proclaimed that capitalism and democracy enjoy world-wide consensus as the optimal institutions for efficiently allocating society's productive resources and effectively developing public policies to promote social welfare, respectively. However, can we also assume that each institution has an equitable impact on all subsets of individuals in society? Specifically, are capitalism and democracy independently and equally effective at promoting women's well-being and gender equality in society? On the one hand, Public Choice economists such as Tullock (1980) have argued that the constraints on competition inherent to the collective action of democratic governments tend to promote rent seeking activity. This often results in inefficient public policies that distribute social benefits in favor of those who are endowed with greater political influence at the expense of the rest of society. If gender inequality in society implies that men are endowed with more political influence, would greater political rights exercised through enhanced democracy necessarily promote women's well-being as effectively as greater economic freedoms exercised in better developed markets? On the other hand, Neoclassical development economists such as Stiglitz (2002) have argued that many of the market friendly social institutions of capitalism often usurp the dignity and well-being of common laborers and other oppressed groups in society, who are ultimately treated as pawns within the profit maximization calculus of society's elite. Such exploitation requires that many economic freedoms in society should be subservient to democratically determined public policies aimed at equalizing socio-economic outcomes for all. If gender inequality in society implies that men are endowed with more economic opportunities, would greater economic freedoms exercised in a better developed marketplace be as effective at promoting women's well-being as greater political rights exercised through enhanced democracy? How can we resolve these conflicting theoretical perspectives? After all, every society must determine where the optimal institutional boundary should be placed between the sphere of freedoms to be exercised by the individual in the marketplace and that individual's obligation to accept constraints on these freedoms that are imposed by democratically determined public policy. Indeed, Sen (1999) argues that every society must face an unavoidable trade-off between adopting those institutions that preserve the innate freedoms that can be exercised by individuals to enhance their well-being and adopting those social institutions that partially constrain these innate freedoms. He reminds us that the constraints are necessary to produce opportunities for all individuals in society that would enhance their well-being by exercising newly created freedoms through public policy. But which of these competing perspectives is correct? When rival paradigms offer opposing perspectives on the expected impact of each institution, with each generating conflicting advice for setting the optimal theoretical boundary of individual freedoms to be exercised in society, it then becomes a matter of empirical investigation to help us sort out the truth. However, when the empirical analyses of each institution's impact on the well-being of women have been performed in isolation, this ignores the potential for a greater presence of one institution to diminish the beneficial impact imparted by the other. This means that such empirical results can also yield conflicting empirical evidence in support of one institution over the other. This necessitates an empirical approach that allows for the potential interaction of each institution on the other's ability to influence the well-being of women in society. Only then can we determine which theoretical perspective appears to be a more accurate representation of reality. The following cross-country analysis examines the net impact that capitalism and democracy each have on the quality of life for women. The goal is to determine which institutional structure appears to be more effective at promoting women's well-being and gender equality while controlling for their potential interaction.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Commonly employed country indexes reflecting the level of economic freedoms exercised in the marketplace and the level of political rights exercised in a democracy are each used in a fixed-effects panel data analysis for explaining variation in women's well-being and gender equality in society. Data from as many as 95 countries and from up to 5 years of data spanning the two decades of the 1980s and 1990s were used to estimate the net impact that each type of freedom has on four absolute measures of women's well-being (life expectancy, literacy rate, fertility and contraception use by women) and four relative gender equality measures (female to male ratios of life expectancy rates, literacy rates, secondary education enrollment and labor force participation). Two different specifications were used: one accounting for the possible interaction of each type of freedom to affect the other's impact on these measures of women's well-being, and the other allowing for the interaction of each freedom type with the presence of relatively high populations of two different religious groups (Muslim and Catholic religions). The empirical results indicate that the level of economic freedom always exerts a stronger beneficial net influence relative to democracy for all four absolute values of women's well-being used in this analysis and more often exerts a stronger beneficial net influence on the four relative gender equality measures. Setting aside the intrinsic benefits that both types of freedoms provide for all individuals in society, the tangible measures of women's well-being in society could theoretically be maximized by adopting the proper mix of institutions that yields the highest net positive impact. Many Neoclassical development paradigms in the economics literature assume that the institution of democracy is more effective than the institution of capitalism at improving the non-monetary qualities of life for women in society, via the provision of beneficial public services and equitable social policy. However, many Public Choice paradigms are critical of claims that democracy is generally effective at creating efficient public policy that benefits any broad subset of society, favoring the protection of market institutions to promote the welfare of all in society, including women. The statistical evidence herein implies that those societies that rely more heavily upon individual economic freedoms to promote women's well-being have been more successful than those societies relying more heavily upon greater political rights. It appears that for those democratic societies with relatively higher existing levels of economic freedoms, or a relatively high presence of Muslim or Catholic populations, the citizens appear to have exploited their greater political rights to pursue political and economic objectives that have ultimately benefited women less than men. The policy implications of this empirical analysis indicate that if a country's government chooses to permit a greater expression of political rights to its citizens by increasing the efficacy of democratic policies in society rather than promote a greater expression of individual economic freedoms to be exercised in the marketplace, such a policy choice will likely produce smaller improvements in the quality of life for women in that country.