Do Female Leaders Choose Women? Evidence from Visible and Hidden Appointments

28 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2023

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2023

Abstract

We study the effect of having women in power instead of men on the appointment of other women. We use mixed-gender elections in Italian municipalities held since 1993 and observe the share of women appointed by the mayor to the executive committee (visible appointments) and to the board of municipal SOEs (hidden appointments). We find that when a woman marginally defeats a man the share of women appointed to visible positions drops by 5.7 pp, while the share of women appointed to hidden positions does not change. The effect appears only from the early 2000s, when gender issues began to receive attention, and it shows up earlier in regions where public opinion is more sensitive to gender equality. These results suggest that male leaders nominate more women in visible positions because they are subject to more stringent scrutiny on gender issues than female leaders. Other mechanisms do not find support in the data.

Keywords: gender, elections, appointments

JEL Classification: D72, J16, M51

Suggested Citation

Cintolesi, Andrea and Frattola, Edoardo, Do Female Leaders Choose Women? Evidence from Visible and Hidden Appointments (August 1, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4557970 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4557970

Andrea Cintolesi (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Edoardo Frattola

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

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