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Women Politicians, Gender Bias, and Policy-making in Rural India

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  • Lori Beaman

Abstract

Despite the importance of this issue for the design of institutions around the world, little is known about the relative performance of women as policy makers, about their impact on child development and about how their performance is evaluated by voters. This paper exploits the fact that in India, mandated political representation for women in local governments (Gram Panchayats) was implemented in a randomized manner to present some insights on the causal impact of women as policy makers. The authors focus on the policy decisions of female village council leaders as they affect children, families and other women. The advantage of looking at village councils in India is that the randomized selection of the councils reserved for women eliminates most of the econometric problems mentioned above and allows authors to provide clear evidence on the impact of women’s leadership on policy decisions. [Background paper for the State of the World's Children]

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:835.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:835

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Related research

Keywords: panchayat; gram panchayat; village council; women panchayat members; local governments; Political Science; child welfare; Political Science;

References

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  1. Lena Edlund & Laila Haider & Rohini Pande, 2005. "Unmarried Parenthood and Redistributive Politics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 95-119, 03.
  2. 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.
  3. Abhijit Banerjee & Angus Deaton & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Health care delivery in rural rajasthan," Framed Field Experiments 00120, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
  5. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap And The Decline In Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961, August.
  7. Haddad, Lawrence & Hoddinott, John & Alderman, Harold & DEC, 1994. "Intrahousehold resource allocation : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1255, The World Bank.
  8. 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.
  9. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2005. "Political Selection and the Quality ofGovernment: Evidence from South India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  10. Eckel, Catherine C & Grossman, Philip J, 1998. "Are Women Less Selfish Than Men? Evidence from Dictator Experiments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 726-35, May.
  11. John R. Lott & Jr. & Lawrence W. Kenny, 1999. "Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1163-1198, December.
  12. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "A Simple Model Of Voice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 189-227, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Doepke, Matthias & Tertilt, Michele, 2011. "Does female empowerment promote economic development ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5714, The World Bank.
  2. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2014. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 164-97, May.
  3. Patricia Justino & Ivan Cardona & Rebecca Mitchell & Catherine Müller, 2012. "Quantifying the Impact of Women’s Participation in Post-Conflict Economic Recovery," HiCN Working Papers 131, Households in Conflict Network.

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