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Does gender matter for public spending? Empirical evidence from Italian municipalities

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  • Rigon, Massimiliano
  • Tanzi, Giulia M.
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    Abstract

    This paper studies whether municipal expenditure in Italy is influenced by female representation in city councils. To correctly capture the causal relation we use the instrumental variable technique. Our instrument is based on a temporary change in the Italian normative occurred between 1993 and 1995 that reserved a gender quota in party lists for municipal elections, causing an exogenous change in the number of women elected in city councils. We take advantage of the fact that not all the municipalities have been treated by the law, due to its short period of enforcement. Despite the existence of gender specific preferences in the society, we find no evidence that the allocation of resources among different spending categories is affected by the gender of politicians. Our results are consistent with the Median voter theorem. Alternatively, they may suggest that the gender is not a determinant of politicians’ voting behaviour, implying that the preferences of the women involved in political activities are close to those of their male colleagues.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 34845.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34845

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    Keywords: gender; political representation; municipal expenditure;

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    1. M. Daniele Paserman & Stefano Gagliarducci, 2011. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series, Boston University - Department of Economics WP2011-048, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    2. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2009. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities-super-," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 124(1), pages 399-422, February.
    3. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    4. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
    5. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
    6. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2007. "Are female leaders good for education? : Evidence from India," Economics Working Papers we077342, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
    7. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2008. "Gender gaps in policy making: Evidence from direct democracy in Switzerland," Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 1126, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    8. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    9. Maria De Paola & Rosetta Lombardo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2009. "Can Gender Quotas Break Down Negative Stereotypes? Evidence From Changes In Electoral Rules," Working Papers 200910, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica).
    10. Osborne, Martin J & Slivinski, Al, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96, February.
    11. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
    12. Svaleryd, Helena, 2009. "Women's representation and public spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 186-198, June.
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