Let the Voters Choose Women
46 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016
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: Suggested Citation