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Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena

Author

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  • M. Daniele Paserman

    (Department of Economics, Boston University, NBER, CEPR and IZA)

  • Stefano Gagliarducci

    (Department of Economics, Tor Vergata University and IZA)

Abstract

This paper studies gender interactions within hierarchical organizations using a large data set on the duration of Italian municipal governments elected between 1993 and 2003. A municipal government can be viewed as a hierarchy, whose stability over time depends on the degree of cooperation between and within ranks. We find that in municipalities headed by female mayors, the probability of early termination of the legislature is higher. This result persists and becomes stronger when we control for municipality fixed effects as well as for non-random sorting of women into municipalities using regression discontinuity in gender-mixed electoral races decided by a narrow margin. The likelihood that a female mayor survives until the end of her term is lowest when the council is entirely male, and in regions with less favorable attitudes towards working women. This evidence is suggestive that group dynamics are an important factor in driving the gender difference. Other interpretations receive less support in the data. Our results may provide an alternative explanation for the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Daniele Paserman & Stefano Gagliarducci, 2011. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-048, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2011-048
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; discrimination; hierarchies; government stability; municipal government.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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