The Importance of Being Earnest: What Drives the Gender Quota Effect in Politics?

56 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2021

See all articles by Sugat Chaturvedi

Sugat Chaturvedi

Ashoka University - Department of Economics; Ashoka University

Sabyasachi Das

Ashoka University

Kanika Mahajan

Ashoka University

Date Written: November 12, 2021

Abstract

While gender quotas in politics have been adopted worldwide, evidence on their impact on women’s substantive representation is mixed. To examine this issue, we estimate the relative importance of greater demand expressed by female voters under female leadership vis-à-vis female leaders’ differential preference (supply) in shaping the gender quota effect. We use data on the household level allocation of toilets for the entire rural population (25 million households) of Uttar Pradesh, India. Our empirical strategy exploits the larger gender gap in toilet preference among Muslims than Hindus and the greater expression of demand by female-headed households, relative to male-headed ones in a difference-in-discontinuity design to identify demand and supply mechanisms. We find that greater expression of demand is important in shaping the gender quota effect, while there is weak evidence of the supply mechanism. These results highlight the importance of empowering female voters in making gender quotas more effective.

Keywords: Female reservation, women’s agency, public good preference, sanitation

JEL Classification: D78, H42, I18

Suggested Citation

Chaturvedi, Sugat and Das, Sabyasachi and Mahajan, Kanika, The Importance of Being Earnest: What Drives the Gender Quota Effect in Politics? (November 12, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3962068 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3962068

Sugat Chaturvedi

Ashoka University - Department of Economics ( email )

Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Sonepat, 131029
India

Ashoka University ( email )

University Campus, Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Kundli, Haryana 131028
India

Sabyasachi Das (Contact Author)

Ashoka University ( email )

Rajiv Gandhi Education City, Plot #2,
Sonepat
Rai, Haryana 131029
India

HOME PAGE: http://dassabyasachi.wordpress.com/

Kanika Mahajan

Ashoka University ( email )

University Campus, Plot #2,
Rajiv Gandhi Education City
Kundli, Haryana 131028
India

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