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Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians

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  • Audinga Baltrunaite
  • Piera Bello
  • Alessandra Casarico
  • Paola Profeta

Abstract

We analyze the effect of the introduction of gender quotas in candidate lists on the quality of elected politicians. We consider an Italian law which introduced gender quotas in local elections in 1993, and was abolished in 1995. As not all municipalities went through elections during the period the reform was in force, we can identify two groups of municipalities and use a Difference in Differences estimation to analyze the effect of gender quotas on the quality of elected politicians. We find that gender quotas are associated with a higher average number of years of schooling of elected politicians, with the effect ranging from 0.12 to 0.18 years of education. This effect is due not only to the higher number of elected women, who are on average more educated than their male colleagues, but also to the lower number of low-educated elected men. The positive effect on quality is confirmed also when we measure the latter with alternative indicators of the quality of politicians, it persists in the long run and it is robust to the inclusion of political ideology.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3734.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3734

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Keywords: gender quotas; municipal elections; difference in differences; average years of education;

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Cited by:
  1. António Afonso & Maria João Guedes, 2014. "EU Finance Ministers, Capital Markets and Fiscal Outcomes," Working Papers Department of Economics, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon 2014/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  2. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Pérez, Jessica Helen, 2013. "Do more educated leaders raise citizens’ education?," Working Papers 2072/220219, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  3. Thomas Braendle, 2013. "Do Institutions Affect Citizens' Selection into Politics?," Working papers, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel 2013/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  4. Vincenzo Galasso & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus: A Survey Experiment in the Field," CESifo Working Paper Series 4328, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. De Benedetto, Marco Alberto & De Paola, Maria, 2014. "Candidates' Quality and Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipal Elections," IZA Discussion Papers 8102, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & De Benedetto, Marco Alberto, 2014. "The impact of gender quotas on electoral participation: Evidence from Italian municipalities," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 141-157.
  7. Folke, Olle & Rickne, Johanna, 2014. "The Glass Ceiling in Politics: Formalization and Empirical Tests," Working Paper Series, Research Institute of Industrial Economics 1034, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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