What Happens When a Woman Wins an Election? Evidence from Close Races in Brazil

57 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012 Last revised: 30 Aug 2015

Fernanda Brollo

University of Warwick - Department of Economics

Ugo Troiano

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

We analyze close elections between male and female mayoral candidates in Brazilian municipalities to provide novel evidence on the role of women as policymakers. Using an objective measure of corruption based on random government audits, we find that female mayors are less likely to engage in corruption compared to male mayors. We also find that female mayors tend to hire less temporary public employees than male mayors, particularly during the electoral year, suggesting that they are less likely to engage in political patronage. Moreover, we find that female mayors have a lower reelection probability than male mayors. We interpret our findings as suggesting that, despite being more corrupt, male mayors are more likely to be reelected due to their involvement in patronage. We provide evidence that is inconsistent with some of the alternative explanations.

Keywords: gender, politics, corruption, patronage

JEL Classification: J16, P16, D72, I00, I18

Suggested Citation

Brollo, Fernanda and Troiano, Ugo, What Happens When a Woman Wins an Election? Evidence from Close Races in Brazil (August 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1999067 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1999067

Fernanda Brollo

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Ugo Troiano (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/troiano

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
838
Rank
22,045
Abstract Views
3,716