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Women's political leadership and economic empowerment: Evidence from public works in India

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  • Deininger, Klaus
  • Nagarajan, Hari K
  • Singh, Sudhir K

Abstract

Despite recent advances, women trail men in political participation, especially in developing countries where the long-term economic benefits from empowering women politically have not been well-researched. We use data from 163 villages of 12 main Indian states to explore whether requiring that village leadership positions be held by women (political reservation) affected uptake of economic opportunities via the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. Reservation triggered increases in women's demand for work, program participation, and access to financial services that were sustained beyond the period of female political leadership. Enhanced female participation in program oversight, civic engagement, and electoral participation are plausible channels for such effects and political and economic empowerment seem to be complementary.

Suggested Citation

  • Deininger, Klaus & Nagarajan, Hari K & Singh, Sudhir K, 2020. "Women's political leadership and economic empowerment: Evidence from public works in India," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 277-291.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:48:y:2020:i:2:p:277-291
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2019.12.003
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political reservation; Female; NREGS; Job card; Gender; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies

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