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Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india

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  • Raghabendra Chattopadhyay
  • Esther Duflo
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    Abstract

    This paper uses political reservations for women in India to study the impact of women's leadership on policy decisions. In 1998, one third of all leadership positions of Village Councils in West Bengal were randomly selected to be reserved for a woman: in these councils only women could be elected to the position of head. Village Councils are responsible for the provision on many local public good in rural areas. Using a data set we collected on 165 Village Councils, we compare the type of public goods provided in reserved and unreserved Villages Councils. We show that women invest more in infrastructure that is directly relevant to the needs of rural women (water, fuel, and roads), while men invest more in education. Women are more likely to participate in the policy-making process if the leader of their village council is a woman.

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    File URL: http://karlan.yale.edu/fieldexperiments/papers/00224.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Framed Field Experiments with number 00224.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:feb:framed:00224

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    Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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    1. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    2. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
    3. 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.
    4. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    5. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
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