Making the Implicit Explicit: Gender Influences on Social Spending in Twelve Industrialized Democracies, 1980-99

Posted: 12 Aug 2009

Date Written: Spring 2009

Abstract

Despite the theoretical relevance of gender influences and a body of gender and feminist literature demonstrating the importance of changing gender relations on social policy, quantitative analyses have been slow to incorporate their impact. Thus, little is known about the importance of gender-specific measures in comparison to more established influences, or about the relative impact of the differing potential gendered pressures themselves. To address this gap, I theorize gender-relevant measures in economic, family, and political arenas, and appraise them alongside established influences. Though influences from each sphere emerge as consequential, the effects are not equal. Results across twenty years and twelve industrialized democracies show that women's legislative presence has the strongest overall effect, but spending outcomes are the most generous when all gender influences work in conjunction. Implications of these results for extending welfare state theory and research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Bolzendahl, Catherine, Making the Implicit Explicit: Gender Influences on Social Spending in Twelve Industrialized Democracies, 1980-99 (Spring 2009). Social Politics, Vol. 16, Issue 1, pp. 40-81, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1447726 or http://dx.doi.org/jxp002

Catherine Bolzendahl (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

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