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The Impact of Gender Quotas on Electoral Participation: Evidence from Italian Municipalities

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Author Info

  • Maria De Paola

    ()

  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    ()

  • Marco Alberto De Benedetto

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Abstract

We analyze the effect of gender quotas on electoral participation by using a rich dataset of Italian municipal elections. Gender quotas were in force in Italy from 1993 until 1995. Because of the short period covered by the reform, some municipalities never voted using gender quota. 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. Notwithstanding electoral turnout shows a decreasing trend, we find that turnout has decreased significantly less in municipalities affected by the reform, suggesting that gender quotas have produced an increase in electoral participation. The effect on electoral turnout is driven by an increase in valid ballots, although we find also an increase in blank ballots. The effect is smaller in the Southern part of the country, typically characterized by more traditional gender roles. We also find that female electors react more than males probably because they expect female policy-makers to give particular attention to women’s interests.

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File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP06_2012.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 201206.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201206

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Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
Phone: +39 0984 492413
Fax: +39 0984 492421
Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/
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Related research

Keywords: Gender Quotas; Political Participation; Electoral Turnout; Natural Experiment; Gender Discrimination;

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References

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  1. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Aimee Chin & Nishith Prakash, 2010. "The Redistributive Effects of Political Reservation for Minorities: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 16509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Audinga Baltrunaite & Piera Bello & Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta, 2012. "Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians," CESifo Working Paper Series 3734, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
  6. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2012. "Are Female Leaders Good for Education? Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 212-44, January.
  7. Alberto F. Alesina & Francesca Lotti & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2008. "Do Women Pay More for Credit? Evidence from Italy," NBER Working Papers 14202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2008. "Gender gaps in policy making: Evidence from direct democracy in Switzerland," Economics Working Papers 1126, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  9. 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).
  10. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & Lombardo, Rosetta, 2010. "Can gender quotas break down negative stereotypes? Evidence from changes in electoral rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 344-353, June.
  11. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2005. "Women in politics: evidence from the Indian states," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19294, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Husted, Thomas A & Kenny, Lawrence W, 1997. "The Effect of the Expansion of the Voting Franchise on the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(1), pages 54-82, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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).
  2. Audinga Baltrunaite & Piera Bello & Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta, 2013. "Gender quotas and the quality of politicians," Working Papers 2013-11, FEDEA.

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