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Can gender quotas break down negative stereotypes? Evidence from changes in electoral rules

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  • De Paola, Maria
  • Scoppa, Vincenzo
  • Lombardo, Rosetta

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the effect of gender quotas on women's involvement in political activity by using a rich data set providing information on all Italian local administrators who were elected from 1985 to 2007. Gender quotas were introduced by law in Italy in 1993 and were in force until 1995. Because of the short period covered by the reform, some municipalities never voted under the gender quota regime. This allows us to identify a treatment and a control group and to estimate the effects of gender quotas by using a difference-in-differences estimation strategy. Our estimates show that women's representation in politics after the reform increased significantly more in municipalities that were affected by the reform than in municipalities that were not affected. This result also holds true if we exclude from our analysis elections which took place during the period in which the reform was in force. Moreover, the higher women's representation in "gender quota municipalities" is not related to the advantages that women who were elected during the reform have obtained from incumbency and does not seem to be driven by differences in temporal trends between Southern and Northern regions. These findings suggest that affirmative actions can be of use in breaking down stereotypes against women.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5-6 (June)
Pages: 344-353

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:94:y:2010:i:5-6:p:344-353

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Affirmative actions Gender quotas Discrimination Stereotypes Politicians Natural experiment;

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References

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  1. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
  2. Coate, S. & Loury, G.C., 1992. "Will Affirmative Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," Papers 3, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  3. Bonomy Genny & Brosio Giorgio & Di Tommaso Maria Laura, 2006. "How Italian electors react to gender quotas? A random utility model of voting behaviour," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 200609, University of Turin.
  4. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2007. "Just rewards? Local politics and public resource allocation in South India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3763, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Silvia Ferrari & Francisco Cribari-Neto, 2004. "Beta Regression for Modelling Rates and Proportions," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(7), pages 799-815.
  6. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 7563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rohini Pande, 2002. "Can mandated political representation increase policy influence for disadvantaged minorities? Theory and evidence from India," Discussion Papers 0102-62, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  8. Esther Duflo, 2005. "Why Political Reservations?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 668-678, 04/05.
  9. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Brollo, Fernanda & Troiano, Ugo, 2013. "What Happens When a Woman Wins an Election? Evidence from Close Races in Brazil," MPRA Paper 52244, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Esteve-Volart, Berta & Bagues, Manuel, 2012. "Are women pawns in the political game? Evidence from elections to the Spanish Senate," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 387-399.
  3. Stepan Jurajda & Daniel Munich, 2014. "Candidate Ballot Information and Election Outcomes: The Czech Case," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp500, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  4. Rigon, Massimiliano & Tanzi, Giulia M., 2011. "Does gender matter for public spending? Empirical evidence from Italian municipalities," MPRA Paper 34845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. repec:cge:warwcg:160 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "Gender Discrimination and Evaluators’ Gender: Evidence from the Italian Academy," Working Papers 201106, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  7. Thomas Braendle, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  8. Casas-Arce, Pablo & Saiz, Albert, 2011. "Women and Power: Unwilling, Ineffective, or Held Back?," IZA Discussion Papers 5645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Massimiliano Rigon & Giulia Martina Tanzi, 2012. "Does gender matter for public spending? Empirical evidence from Italian municipalities," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 862, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  10. Giacomo De Giorgi & Marco Paccagnella & Michele Pellizzari, 2013. "Gender complementarities in the labor market," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 183, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  11. Maria De Paola & Vincenzo Scoppa & Marco Alberto De Benedetto, 2012. "The Impact of Gender Quotas on Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," Working Papers 201206, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
  12. Audinga Baltrunaite & Piera Bello & Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta, 2013. "Gender quotas and the quality of politicians," Working Papers 2013-11, FEDEA.
  13. De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2013. "The Impact of Incumbency on Turnout: Evidence from Italian Municipalities," IZA Discussion Papers 7612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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