Women Legislators and Economic Performance

59 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2018

See all articles by Thushyanthan Baskaran

Thushyanthan Baskaran

University of Siegen - Department of Economics

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Brian K. Min

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science

Yogesh Uppal

Youngstown State University

Abstract

There has been a phenomenal global increase in the proportion of women in politics in the last two decades, but there is no evidence of how this influences economic performance. We investigate this using data on competitive elections to India's state assemblies, leveraging close elections to isolate causal effects. We find significantly higher growth in economic activity in constituencies that elect women and no evidence of negative spillovers to neighbouring male-led constituencies, consistent with net growth. Probing mechanisms, we find that women legislators are less likely to be criminal and corrupt, more efficacious, and less vulnerable to political opportunism.

Keywords: political representation, identity, India, gender, women legislators, economic growth, luminosity, corruption, roads, close elections

JEL Classification: D72, D78, H44, H73

Suggested Citation

Baskaran, Thushyanthan and Bhalotra, Sonia R. and Min, Brian K. and Uppal, Yogesh, Women Legislators and Economic Performance. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11596, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3205883

Thushyanthan Baskaran (Contact Author)

University of Siegen - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Hoelderlinstr. 3
Siegen, 57068
Germany

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Brian K. Min

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Political Science ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Yogesh Uppal

Youngstown State University ( email )

Youngstown, OH 44555
United States

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