Female politicians and economic growth: evidence from state elections in India
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There is growing evidence that women politicians are relatively effective in protecting the interests of women and children. But is this at the cost of economic growth? The researchers investigate this using close elections between men and women in a regression discontinuity design. Using night luminosity as a measure of economic activity, they find significantly higher economic growth rates in constituencies from which women rather than men are elected to state legislative assemblies in India. Amongst mechanisms, they find evidence consistent with women being less corrupt, more effective at attracting state-level resources and more likely to improve access to roads.
Media coverage & outputs
- “Women MLAs more efficient, less corrupt, says study, (Himanshi Dhawan, Times of India, 12 June 2018)
- “Female politicians are better for the Indian economy, (Maria Thomas, Quartz India, 6 June 2018)
- “Women legislators and economic performance”, presentation at the annual meeting of the European Public Choice Society (EPCS), Rome, 12 April 2018
- “Are female politicians better at managing economic policies?”, (ISER blog, 26 September 2016)
Professor of Economics - ISER, University of Essex
Associate Professor of Economics - Youngstown State University
Associate Professor - University of Göttingen
Research Associate Professor - Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan