Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2009:3: Do Gender Quotas Influence Women’s Representation and Policies?

Li-Ju Chen ()
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Li-Ju Chen: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of applying gender quotas on policy decisions. I first examine the effect of gender quotas on the representation of female legislators, study the correlation between gender quotas and different types of government expenditures, and then use quotas as an instrument for the proportion of female legislators to investigate the effect of female legislators on policy outcomes. The results show that an increase in the share of female legislators by one percentage point increases the ratio of government expenditure on health and social welfare to GDP by 0.18 and 0.67 percentage points, respectively. The robustness check supports that the effect of quotas on female legislators is likely to be translated into the influence of female policymakers on social welfare.

Keywords: female legislator; gender quotas; policy outcomes

JEL-codes: D78; H50; J16

34 pages, January 15, 2009

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