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Women political leaders, corruption and learning: Evidence from a large public program in India

Farzana Afridi, Vegard Iversen and M.R. Sharan
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Vegard Iversen: Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester
M.R. Sharan: Jameel Poverty Action Lab, South Asia

Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers from Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India

Abstract: We use the nation-wide policy of randomly allocating village council headships to women to identify the impact of female political leadership on the governance of projects implemented under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India. Using primary survey data, we find more program inefficiencies and leakages in village councils reserved for women heads: political and administrative inexperience make such councils more vulnerable to bureaucratic capture. When using a panel of audit reports, governance improves as female leaders accumulate experience. These results suggest that female political leadership may generate gains in governance but only after the initial, gendered disadvantages recede. Our findings highlight capacity building as necessary for bolstering the effectiveness of political quotas for women.

Keywords: political reservations; gender; NREGA; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: P26 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 50 pages
Date: 2013-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev and nep-pol
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Related works:
Journal Article: Women Political Leaders, Corruption, and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India (2013) Downloads
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