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What happens when a woman wins an election? Evidence from close races in Brazil

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  • Brollo, Fernanda
  • Troiano, Ugo

Abstract

We analyze close elections between male and female mayoral candidates in Brazilian municipalities to provide novel evidence on the role of women as policymakers. Using an objective measure of corruption based on random government audits, we find that female mayors are less likely to engage in corruption compared to male mayors. We also find that female mayors hire fewer temporary public employees than male mayors during the electoral year and tend to attract less campaign contributions when running for reelection. Moreover, our results show that female mayors have a lower reelection probability than male mayors. We interpret our findings as suggesting that male incumbents are more likely to engage in strategic behavior and this improves their electoral performance. Other explanations receive less support from the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Brollo, Fernanda & Troiano, Ugo, 2016. "What happens when a woman wins an election? Evidence from close races in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 28-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:122:y:2016:i:c:p:28-45
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.04.003
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political business cycles 40 years after Nordhaus," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 166(1), pages 235-259, January.
    2. Jan Hunady, 2017. "Individual and institutional determinants of corruption in the EU countries: the problem of its tolerance," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 34(1), pages 139-157, April.
    3. repec:kap:pubcho:v:171:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11127-017-0449-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pamela Campa & Manuel Bagues, "undated". "Can Gender Quotas in Candidate Lists Empower Women? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," Working Papers 2017-06, Department of Economics, University of Calgary.
    5. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2018. "Religion and Abortion: The Role of Politician Identity," IZA Discussion Papers 11292, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Zohal Hessami, 2017. "Political alignment and intergovernmental transfers in parliamentary systems: evidence from Germany," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 75-98, April.
    7. Oeindrila Dube & S.P. Harish, 2017. "Queens," NBER Working Papers 23337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Alberto F. Alesina & Ugo Troiano & Traviss Cassidy, 2015. "Old and Young Politicians," NBER Working Papers 20977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Patricia Yáñez-Pagans, 2014. "Do We Need More Women in Power? Gender, Public Policy, and Development in Bolivia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 87516, Inter-American Development Bank.
    10. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:26-30 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. O'Connell, Stephen D., 2018. "Can Quotas Increase the Supply of Candidates for Higher-Level Positions? Evidence from Local Government in India," IZA Discussion Papers 11286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Jean-Benoît Eymeoud & Paul Vertier, 2018. "Gender Biases: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in French Local Elections," Sciences Po publications 78, Sciences Po.
    13. Thushyanthan Baskaran & Mariana Lopes da Fonseca, 2017. "Appointed Public Officials and Local Favoritism: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Working Paper Series 6800, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Francisco Pino, 2014. "Is There Gender Bias Among Voters ?Evidence from the Chilean Congressional Elections," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-53, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    15. repec:spr:ecogov:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10101-018-0202-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Audinga Baltrunaite & Alessandra Casarico & Paola Profeta & Giulia Savio, 2016. "Let the Voters Choose Women," CESifo Working Paper Series 5693, CESifo Group Munich.
    17. Gartner, Christine & Giordano, Claire & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Gamberoni, Elisa, 2016. "Is corruption efficiency-enhancing? A case study of nine Central and Eastern European countries," Working Paper Series 1950, European Central Bank.
    18. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337559 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Oasis Kodila-Tedika & Martin Mulunda Kabange, 2016. "Age of politicians and Regulatory Reform," Working Papers 16/003, African Governance and Development Institute..
    20. Brown, Ryan & Mansour, Hani & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2018. "Closing the Gender Gap in Leadership Positions: Can Expanding the Pipeline Increase Parity?," IZA Discussion Papers 11263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Eric Dubois, 2016. "Political Business Cycles 40 Years after Nordhaus," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01291401, HAL.
    22. repec:hal:journl:hal-01291401 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:eee:jeeman:v:88:y:2018:i:c:p:345-365 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Lucia Rizzica & Marco Tonello, 2015. "Exposure to media and corruption perceptions," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1043, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    25. Iyer, Lakshmi & Mani, Anandi, 2018. "The Road Not Taken: Gender Gaps along Paths to Political Power," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 368, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Politics; Corruption; Patronage; Campaign contributions;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • I00 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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