Democratic Participation and Government Expenditure: The Consequences of Women's Suffrage
IEW Working Paper No. 210
35 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2004
Date Written: October 2004
In this paper, we study the effect of women's suffrage on government expenditure in Swiss cantons. Based on the institutionally induced change in the electorate, we analyse the relationship between politically represented preferences and the outcome of the political process. Women, on average, still belong to lower income classes than men. According to theories on government size, women's participation is therefore expected to increase demand for public services. In contrast to this hypothesis, we estimate a negative effect of women's suffrage on the development of total expenditure. Thereby, it is possible to control for general trends in the economy, as well as in society because suffrage was introduced in different years in Swiss cantons. We discuss possible explanations like fiscally conservative women or the interaction of women's suffrage and direct democratic institutions.
Note: The Downloadable document is in German.
JEL Classification: D72, H23, H50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation