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Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?

Author

Listed:
  • Lori Beaman
  • Raghabendra Chattopadhyay
  • Esther Duflo
  • Rohini Pande
  • Petia Topalova

Abstract

We exploit random assignment of gender quotas for leadership positions on Indian village councils to show that prior exposure to a female leader is associated with electoral gains for women. After ten years of quotas, women are more likely to stand for, and win, elected positions in councils required to have a female chief councilor in the previous two elections. We provide experimental and survey evidence on one channel of influence—changes in voter attitudes. Prior exposure to a female chief councilor improves perceptions of female leader effectiveness and weakens stereotypes about gender roles in the public and domestic spheres.

Suggested Citation

  • Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:4:p:1497-1540.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1162/qjec.2009.124.4.1497
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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