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The performance of politicians: The effect of gender quotas

Michela Braga () and Francesco Scervini ()

European Journal of Political Economy, 2017, vol. 46, issue C, 1-14

Abstract: This paper investigates whether the gender of elected politicians affects political outcomes at the municipal level. Relying on Italian administrative data from 1991 to 2009, we are able to instrument the gender of elected politicians using an institutional exogenous change: a gender quota in the candidacy list enforced only in a subsample of municipalities and for a short period of time. While the gender of politicians does not affect the general ‘quality of life’, proxied by the internal migration rate, it does increase significantly both the efficacy of policies targeting women and households, proxied by the fertility rate, and the efficiency of the municipal administration, proxied by the actual size of the administrative bodies. These results, which are robust to several specifications and checks, suggest that affirmative action enhancing gender equality in political representation may be beneficial not only in terms of social justice but also from a political outcome perspective.

Keywords: Gender; Municipal government; Political outcomes; Fertility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D72 J13 J16 R23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: The performance of politicians. The effect of gender quotas (2015) Downloads
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