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Women in politics: Evidence from the Indian States

  • Clots-Figueras, Irma

This paper uses panel data from the 16 larger states in India during the period 1967-2000 to study the effects of female political representation in the State Legislatures on public goods, policy and expenditure. It finds that politicians' gender affects policy, but that their social position, i.e., their caste, should be taken into account as well. Female legislators in seats reserved for lower castes and disadvantaged tribes invest more in health and early education and favor "women-friendly" laws, such as amendments to the Hindu Succession Act, which was designed to give women the same inheritance rights as men. They also favor redistributive policies, such as land reforms. In contrast, female legislators from higher castes do not have any impact on "women-friendly" laws, oppose land reforms, invest in higher tiers of education and reduce social expenditure. The causal effect of female legislators is estimated using close elections between women and men.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V76-51NG4DW-1/2/20bc4a253655650a4382e2df6e8d7bd3
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 7-8 (August)
Pages: 664-690

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:7-8:p:664-690
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Stephen Coate & Timothy Besley, 2000. "Elected versus Appointed Regulators: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "The Political Economy Of Government Responsiveness: Theory And Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1415-1451, November.
  4. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1997. "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 85-114, February.
  5. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction, And Growth: Evidence From India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(2), pages 389-430, May.
  6. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 2000. "Unnatural Experiments? Estimating the Incidence of Endogenous Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(467), pages F672-94, November.
  7. Dreze, Jean & Sen, Amartya, 2002. "India: Development and Participation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199257492.
  8. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
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