Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment

40 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2001

See all articles by Raghabendra Chattopadhyay

Raghabendra Chattopadhyay

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC)

Esther Duflo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2001

Abstract

This paper uses political reservations for women in India to study the impact of women's leadership on policy decision. In 1998, one third of all leadership positions of Village Councils in West Bengal were randomly selected to be reserved for a woman: in these councils only women could be elected to the position of head. Village Councils are responsible for the provision of many local public goods in rural areas. Using a data set we collected on 165 Village Councils, we compare the type of public goods provided in reserved and unreserved Villages Councils. We show that women invest more in infrastructure that is directly relevant to the needs of rural women (water, fuel, and roads), while men invest more in education. Women are more likely to participate in the policy-making process if the leader of their village council is a woman.

Keywords: gender, decentralization, affirmative action, political economy

JEL Classification: H4, H7, I18, J16, O1

Suggested Citation

Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra and Duflo, Esther, Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a India-Wide Randomized Policy Experiment (October 2001). MIT Department of Economics Working Paper No. 01-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=288974 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.288974

Raghabendra Chattopadhyay

Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) ( email )

B-202
Joka, Diamond Harbour Road
Calcutta, West Bengal 700104
India
+91 9433055230 (Phone)
+91 33 2467 8062 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=289009

Esther Duflo (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-544
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
617-258-7013 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.povertyactionlab.org/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States

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