This study analyzes the impact of the gender composition of political institutions on the political budget cycle (PBC) and on the size and structure of public expenditure. An instrumental variable approach is implemented to evaluate the influence of female politicians in municipal councils. The introduction of gender quotas for Italian municipalities is used as an exogenous variation in female participation in politics. The results show that: (i) fluctuations in local public spending are only slightly affected by the presence of a wider female representation; (ii) an increase in the number of elected women reduces the overall amount of public expenditure; (iii) this reduction involves fields typically affected by PBC (e.g., roads' maintenance) except those related to females' needs (e.g., kindergarten, primary education, and social care).

The effect of female representation on political budget cycle and public expenditure: Evidence from Italian municipalities

Ordine P.;Rose G.
;
Giacobbe P.
2022

Abstract

This study analyzes the impact of the gender composition of political institutions on the political budget cycle (PBC) and on the size and structure of public expenditure. An instrumental variable approach is implemented to evaluate the influence of female politicians in municipal councils. The introduction of gender quotas for Italian municipalities is used as an exogenous variation in female participation in politics. The results show that: (i) fluctuations in local public spending are only slightly affected by the presence of a wider female representation; (ii) an increase in the number of elected women reduces the overall amount of public expenditure; (iii) this reduction involves fields typically affected by PBC (e.g., roads' maintenance) except those related to females' needs (e.g., kindergarten, primary education, and social care).
gender quotas
instrumental variables
political budget cycle
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/332291
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