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Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment

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  • Raghabendra Chattopadhyay
  • Esther Duflo

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8615.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Publication status: published as Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra and Esther Duflo. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment." Econometrica 72, 5 (2004): 1409- 1444.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8615

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References

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  1. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2001. "A Simple Model Of Voice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 189-227, February.
  2. Esther Duflo, 2003. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
  3. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  4. Rohini Pande, 1999. "Minority representation and policy choices: the significance of legislator identity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6670, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Rohini Pande, 1999. "Minority Representation and Policy Choices: The Significance of Legislator Identity," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 16, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  7. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Khemani, Stuti, 2001. "Decentralization and accountability : are voters more vigilant in local than in national elections ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2557, The World Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Abhijit Banerjee & Paul J. Gertler & Maitreesh Ghatak, 1998. "Empowerment and Efficiency: The Economics of Agrarian Reform," Working papers 98-22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Svaleryd, Helena, 2002. "Femal Representation - Is it Important for Policy Decisions?," Research Papers in Economics 2002:7, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Caren A. Grown, 2006. "Quick Impact Initiatives For Gender Equality: A Menu of Options," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_462, Levy Economics Institute.
  4. Rohini Pande, 2003. "Can Mandated Political Representation Increase Policy Influence for Disadvantaged Minorities? Theory and Evidence from India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1132-1151, September.
  5. World Bank, 2005. "Pakistan : Country Gender Assessment, Bridging the Gender Gap, Opportunities and Challenges," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8453, The World Bank.
  6. Mookerjee, Rajen & Beron, Krista, 2005. "Gender, religion and happiness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 674-685, October.
  7. Mody, Jyothsna, 2004. "Achieving accountability through decentralization : lessons for integrated river basin management," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3346, The World Bank.
  8. repec:idb:brikps:48958 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Pranab Bardhan, 2002. "Decentralization of Governance and Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(4), pages 185-205, Fall.

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