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Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India

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Author Info

  • Afridi, Farzana

    ()
    (Indian Statistical Institute)

  • Iversen, Vegard

    ()
    (University of Manchester)

  • Sharan, M.R.

    ()
    (Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL))

Abstract

We use the nation-wide policy of randomly allocating village council headships to women to identify the impact of female political leadership on the governance of projects implemented under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India. Using primary survey data, we find more program inefficiencies and leakages in village councils reserved for women heads: political and administrative inexperience make such councils more vulnerable to bureaucratic capture. When using a panel of audit reports, governance improves as female leaders accumulate experience. These results suggest that female political leadership may generate gains in governance but only after the initial, gendered disadvantages recede. Our findings highlight capacity building as necessary for bolstering the effectiveness of political quotas for women.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7212.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7212

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Keywords: political reservations; gender; NREGA; India;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2013. "Femmes au pouvoir et Pouvoir des femmes : Qu’est-ce qui se passe en Afrique ?
    [Women in power and power of women: What is happening in Africa?]
    ," MPRA Paper 48776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Xu, Guo, 2013. "Development through Empowerment: Delivering Effective Public Services – a Literature Review," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 382, Asian Development Bank.
  3. Ghani, Ejaz & Mani, Anandi & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Can political empowerment help economic empowerment ? women leaders and female labor force participation in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6675, The World Bank.
  4. Gupta, Bhanu & Mukhopadhyay, Abhiroop, 2014. "Local Funds and Political Competition: Evidence from the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India," IZA Discussion Papers 8196, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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