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Women Legislators and Economic Performance

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  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan

    (University of Siegen)

  • Bhalotra, Sonia

    (University of Essex & University of Warwick)

  • Min, Brian

    (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

  • Uppal, Yogesh

Abstract

There has been a phenomenal global increase in the proportion of women in politics in the last two decades, but there is no evidence of how this influences economic performance. We investigate this using data on competitive elections to India’s state assemblies, leveraging close elections to isolate causal effects. We find significantly higher growth in economic activity in constituencies that elect women and no evidence of negative spillovers to neighbouring male-led constituencies, consistent with net growth. Probing mechanisms, we find evidence consistent with women legislators being more efficacious, less corrupt and less vulnerable to political opportunism.

Suggested Citation

  • Baskaran, Thushyanthan & Bhalotra, Sonia & Min, Brian & Uppal, Yogesh, 2021. "Women Legislators and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1354, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:1354
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    Keywords

    Political representation ; identity ; India ; gender ; women legislators ; economic growth ; luminosity ; corruption ; roads ; close elections ; electoral incentives JEL Classification: D72 ; D78 ; H44 ; H73;
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