Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2002:7: Femal Representation - Is it Important for Policy Decisions?

Helena Svaleryd
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Helena Svaleryd: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper studies whether the degree of female representation in Swedish local councils affects local public expenditure patterns. Theoretically, the individual preferences of elected representatives may impact public expenditure if full policy commitment is not feasible. To empirically address the question I first analyze the preferences expressed by elected local council representatives using survey data. This permits me to make precise predictions about the effects of female representation on spending. The subsequent panel study on the composition of public spending in Swedish municipalities supports the predictions derived from the survey.

Keywords: Political representation; Local public expenditure; Gender; Survey data; Panel data

JEL-codes: C23; C25; D78; H40; J16

34 pages, March 13, 2002

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