Female Political Representation and Substantive Effects on Policies: A Literature Review

29 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2020

See all articles by Zohal Hessami

Zohal Hessami

University of Konstanz, Department of Economics

Mariana Lopes da Fonseca

University of St. Gallen

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Date Written: 2020

Abstract

The share of women in political offices has increased considerably over the past few decades in almost every country in the world. Does this matter for policy outcomes? This is the first paper to provide a literature review on the substantive effects of female representation on policies. In developing countries, the increase in female political representation has caused a better provision of public goods, especially with regard to education and health. In developed countries, higher female representation has not affected public policies as measured by spending patterns. However, more recent evidence shows that female representation has induced changes in parliamentary deliberations and specific policy choices (e.g. more public child care) that may not be reflected in the observable composition of public spending. Finally, higher female representation has improved institutional quality by reducing corruption and rent-extraction by those in power.

Keywords: female politicians, gender, political selection, policy preferences, policy choices

Suggested Citation

Hessami, Zohal and Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, Female Political Representation and Substantive Effects on Policies: A Literature Review (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8155, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3555582

Zohal Hessami (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz, Department of Economics ( email )

Box 138
Konstanz, 78457
Germany

Mariana Lopes da Fonseca

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Bodanstrasse 8
SIAW-HSG
St.Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

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