Women in Political Power and School Closure During COVID Times
44 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2023
This study explores the relationship between women's representation in political power and school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a cross-country dataset in Europe, we document a striking negative relationship between the share of female members in national governments and school closures. We show that a one standard deviation increase in female members of national governments is associated with a reduction in the likelihood of school lockdowns by 24% relative to the average share of school closures. This result is robust to an extensive set of sensitivity checks. We attribute this pattern to a higher awareness of female politicians about the potential costs that school closures imply for families.
Keywords: school closures, COVID-19, gender, political economy
JEL Classification: H52, I18, I20, J13, J16
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