Citations (6)



Gender Gaps in Policy Making: Evidence from Direct Democracy in Switzerland

Patricia Funk

University of Lugano

Christina Gathmann

Alfred-Weber Institut; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

November 15, 2008

In spite of increasing representation of women in politics, little is known about their impact on policies. Comparing outcomes of parliaments with different shares of female members does not identify their causal impact because of possible differences in the underlying electorate. This paper uses a unique data set on voting decisions to sheds new light on gender gaps in policy making. Our analysis focuses on Switzerland, where all citizens can directly decide on a broad range of policies in referendums and initiatives. We show that there are large gender gaps in the areas of health, environmental protection, defense spending and welfare policy which typically persist even conditional on socio-economic characteristics. We also find that female policy makers have a substantial effect on the composition of public spending, but a small effect on the overall size of government.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

Keywords: Female Policy Makers, Political Gender Gaps, Switzerland

JEL Classification: H10, J16

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: April 7, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Funk, Patricia and Gathmann, Christina, Gender Gaps in Policy Making: Evidence from Direct Democracy in Switzerland (November 15, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1374228 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1374228

Contact Information

Patricia Funk (Contact Author)
University of Lugano ( email )
Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, Ticino 6900
Christina Gathmann
Alfred-Weber Institut ( email )
Bergheimer Str. 20
Heidelberg, 69115
IZA Institute of Labor Economics
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=en&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/en/webcontent/personnel/photos%

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~cgathman

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 603
Downloads: 78
Download Rank: 63,214
Citations:  6
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper