Let the Voters Choose Women

46 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016

See all articles by Audinga Baltrunaite

Audinga Baltrunaite

Stockholm University

Alessandra Casarico

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Paola Profeta

Bocconi University

Giulia Savio

University of Lugano

Date Written: October 2017


We study the effectiveness of a novel measure to reduce gender gaps in political empowerment: double preference voting conditioned on gender, coupled with gender quotas on candidate lists. This policy was introduced in 2013 in Italian local elections. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that the share of female councilors rises by 18 percentage points. The result is mainly driven by an increase in preference votes cast for female candidates. We also find evidence of changes in the expenditure allocation in municipalities subject to the policy.

Keywords: gender quotas, preference votes, municipal elections, regression discontinuity, local public expenditure

JEL Classification: D720, J450

Suggested Citation

Baltrunaite, Audinga and Casarico, Alessandra and Profeta, Paola and Savio, Giulia, Let the Voters Choose Women (October 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5693, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730499 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2730499

Audinga Baltrunaite

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91

Alessandra Casarico

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136

Paola Profeta

Bocconi University ( email )

Milan, MI

Giulia Savio (Contact Author)

University of Lugano ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, TN Ticino 6900

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