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Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena

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  • Stefano Gagliarducci
  • M. Daniele Paserman

Abstract

This paper studies gender interactions within hierarchical organizations using a large data set on the duration of Italian municipal governments elected between 1993 and 2003. A municipal government can be viewed as a hierarchy, whose stability over time depends on the degree of cooperation between and within ranks. We find that in municipalities headed by female mayors, the probability of early termination of the legislature is higher. This result persists and becomes stronger when we control for municipality fixed effects as well as non-random sorting of women into municipalities using regression discontinuity in gender-mixed electoral races decided by a narrow margin. The likelihood that a female mayor survives until the end of her term is lowest when the council is entirely male, and in regions with less favorable attitudes towards working women. The evidence is suggestive that female mayors are less able at fostering cooperation among men, or alternatively, that men are more reluctant to be headed by women. Other interpretations receive less support in the data. Our results may provide an alternative explanation for the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14893.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Publication status: published as Stefano Gagliarducci & M. Daniele Paserman, 2012. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1021-1052.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14893

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Cited by:
  1. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success," Economics Discussion Papers 740, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Audinga Baltrunaite & Piera Bello & Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta, 2012. "Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians," CESifo Working Paper Series 3734, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Vincenzo Galasso & Tommaso Nannicini, 2013. "Men Vote in Mars, Women Vote in Venus:A Survey Experiment in the Field," Working Papers 487, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  4. Massimo Bordignon & Matteo Gamalerio & Gilberto Turati, 2013. "Decentralization, Vertical Fiscal Imbalance, and Political Selection," CESifo Working Paper Series 4459, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Giacomo De Giorgi & Marco Paccagnella & Michele Pellizzari, 2013. "Gender complementarities in the labor market," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 183, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2011. "Does Gender Matter for Political Leadership? The Case of U.S. Mayors," NBER Working Papers 17671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rigon, Massimiliano & Tanzi, Giulia M., 2011. "Does gender matter for public spending? Empirical evidence from Italian municipalities," MPRA Paper 34845, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2013. "How do Female Preferences Influence Political Decisions by Female and Male Representatives?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79748, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  9. Folke, Olle & Rickne, Johanna, 2012. "Female representation but male rule? Party competition and the political glass ceiling," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2012:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Jordi Brandts & Orsola Garofalo, 2010. "Gender Pairings and Accountability Effect," Labsi Experimental Economics Laboratory University of Siena 034, University of Siena.

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