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Women political leaders, corruption and learning: Evidence from a large public program in India

  • Farzana Afridi

    ()

    (Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)

  • Vegard Iversen

    (Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester)

  • M.R. Sharan

    (Jameel Poverty Action Lab, South Asia)

Registered author(s):

    We use the nation-wide policy of randomly allocating village council headships to women to identify the impact of female political leadership on the governance of projects implemented under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India. Using primary survey data, we find more program inefficiencies and leakages in village councils reserved for women heads: political and administrative inexperience make such councils more vulnerable to bureaucratic capture. When using a panel of audit reports, governance improves as female leaders accumulate experience. These results suggest that female political leadership may generate gains in governance but only after the initial, gendered disadvantages recede. Our findings highlight capacity building as necessary for bolstering the effectiveness of political quotas for women.

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    File URL: http://www.isid.ac.in/~pu/dispapers/dp13-02.pdf
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    Paper provided by Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India in its series Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers with number 13-02.

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    Length: 50 pages
    Date of creation: Jan 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ind:isipdp:13-02
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    1. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
    2. Diana Fletschner & C. Leigh Anderson & Alison Cullen, 2010. "Are Women as Likely to Take Risks and Compete? Behavioural Findings from Central Vietnam," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(8), pages 1459-1479.
    3. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
    4. Booth, Alison L. & Nolen, Patrick J., 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Behaviour: Does Nurture Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4026, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    6. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Sex and Risk: Experimental Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    7. Mani, Anandi & Iyer, Lakshmi & Mishra, Prachi & Topalova, Petia, 2011. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 63, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    8. Branisa, Boris & Ziegler, Maria, 2011. "Reexamining the link between gender and corruption: The role of social institutions," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 15, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    9. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Bardhan Pranab K. & Mookherjee Dilip & Parra Torrado Monica, 2010. "Impact of Political Reservations in West Bengal Local Governments on Anti-Poverty Targeting," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-38, January.
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    13. Indira Rajaraman & Manish Gupta, 2012. "Public expenditure choices and gender quotas," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 108-130, December.
    14. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 663–680, January.
    15. Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "A Review of Scott E. Page's The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 108-122, March.
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