Gendered Politics and Economic Policy Making:The Case of Public Expenditures on Family Allowances
31 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2014 Last revised: 3 Apr 2015
Date Written: November 24, 2014
Parliament is the place where elected politicians make laws to set the policy direction of countries. The failure of the involvement of different voices such as gender, race, ethnicity and class in policy-making may prove the existence of an unequality in political decisions. Regarding gender, there has been a sufficient amount of empirical evidence in the literature that women and men may have different policy preferences. Their common argument is that women are more likely than men give priority to public policies related to their traditional roles as care givers to children in the family. Public spending on family allowances is one of the family-specific social policies that play an important role in helping families for the childcare and the child rising. This paper, therefore, have analyzed the relationship between female political representation in the OECD parliaments and the resource allocation towards public spending on family allowances. Overall findings are driven by the fact that the fraction of female parliamentarians over the thirty years across OECD countries have not been sufficient for a possible gender effect in policy-making on family allowances. In fact, the fraction of female politicians is above a certain threshold (30%) shows a significantly different allocation of public spending on family allowances. In other words, women’s representation may need to reach a certain critical mass threshold to make an impact on the policy decision process.
Keywords: public spending on family allowances, female political representation, OECD
JEL Classification: H53, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation