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Does gender matter for public spending? Empirical evidence from Italian municipalities

  • Rigon, Massimiliano
  • Tanzi, Giulia M.
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    This paper studies whether municipal expenditure in Italy is influenced by female representation in city councils. To correctly capture the causal relation we use the instrumental variable technique. Our instrument is based on a temporary change in the Italian normative occurred between 1993 and 1995 that reserved a gender quota in party lists for municipal elections, causing an exogenous change in the number of women elected in city councils. We take advantage of the fact that not all the municipalities have been treated by the law, due to its short period of enforcement. Despite the existence of gender specific preferences in the society, we find no evidence that the allocation of resources among different spending categories is affected by the gender of politicians. Our results are consistent with the Median voter theorem. Alternatively, they may suggest that the gender is not a determinant of politicians’ voting behaviour, implying that the preferences of the women involved in political activities are close to those of their male colleagues.

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/34845/1/MPRA_paper_34845.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 34845.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:34845
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    1. Svaleryd, Helena, 2009. "Women's representation and public spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 186-198, June.
    2. Alesina, Alberto, 1988. "Credibility and Policy Convergence in a Two-Party System with Rational Voters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 796-805, September.
    3. Esther Duflo & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & Lombardo, Rosetta, 2010. "Can gender quotas break down negative stereotypes? Evidence from changes in electoral rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 344-353, June.
    5. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2015. "Gender gaps in policy making: evidence from direct democracy in Switzerland," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(81), pages 141-181.
    6. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2009. "Gender Interactions Within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," CEPR Discussion Papers 7272, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Martin J. Osborne & Al Slivinski, 1996. "A Model of Political Competition with Citizen-Candidates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 65-96.
    8. Tim Besley & Stephen Coate, . ""An Economic Model of Representative Democracy''," CARESS Working Papres 95-02, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
    9. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2007. "Do Political Parties Matter? Evidence from U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 13535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2012. "Are Female Leaders Good for Education? Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 212-44, January.
    11. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
    12. 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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