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Women in politics: evidence from the Indian states

  • Irma Clots-Figueras

This paper uses panel data from the 16 main states in India during the period 1967- 1999 to study the effects of having higher female representation in the State Legislatures on public goods, policy and expenditure. I find that women legislators make different decisions than men legislators. Moreover, women elected in seats reserved for scheduled castes and tribes make different decisions compared to women elected in general seats. Scheduled caste/tribe women favour capital investments, especially on low tiers of education and irrigation. They also favour “women-friendly” laws, such as amendments to the Hindu Succession Act that give women the same inheritance rights as men. In contrast, general women legislators do not have any impact on “women-friendly” laws, oppose redistributive policies such as land reforms, favour pro-rich expenditure and invest in high tiers of education.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19294/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19294.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19294
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Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/
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  1. Dreze, Jean & Sen, Amartya, 2002. "India: Development and Participation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199257492.
  2. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2000. "The Political Economy of Government Responsiveness: Theory and Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 28, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. 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.
  5. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 1998. "Land Reform, Poverty Reduction and Growth: Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 13, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135.
  7. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . "An Economic Model of Representative Democracy," Penn CARESS Working Papers ecf70d639d700dba5327ab0c8, Penn Economics Department.
  8. 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.
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