WiP Seminar: Giovanni Righetto

Title: "Quotas and Kindergartens"

  • Data: 08 giugno 2021 dalle 15:00 alle 16:00

  • Luogo: Microsoft Teams


A frequently cited reason for reducing the gender representation gap in politics is that a larger women representation among politicians should encourage the promotion of gender-sensitive policies, such as public childcare provision. However, the literature often finds no significant effects of larger women presence on size and composition of public expenditures. We complement this literature by studying the effects of the introduction of a gender quota in 2012 for lists of councillors in Italian local elections, looking at whether the subsequent increase in women politicians generated a growth in day-care-related expenditures at the municipality level. We find that, while the aggregate effect for treated municipalities was null, the change in expenditures depended on men councillors’ level of education. Treated municipalities with more educated men councillors had an average increase of 0,40-1,20 euros per capita in day-care related expenditures, while ones with less educated men councillors saw an average decrease of 3 euros per capita. The underlying mechanism stems from majorities’ reaction when minorities (in this case, women politicians) reach larger representation: majorities could either retaliate or compromise, depending on their characteristics.