Jan 16, 2012

The effects of women in politics

The research that looks at the effects of women on politics is still in its infancy. The paper Health and the Political Agency of Women by Bhalotra and Clots-Figueras finds positive effects. The results are encouraging in the sense that societies can gain from more female inclusion. This is the abstract:
We investigate whether politician gender influences policy outcomes in India. We focus upon antenatal and postnatal public health provision since the costs of poor services in this domain are disproportionately borne by women. Accounting for potential endogeneity of politician gender and the sample composition of births, we find that a one standard deviation increase in women’s political representation results in a 1.5 percentage point reduction in neonatal mortality. Women politicians are more likely to build public health facilities and encourage antenatal care, institutional delivery and immunization. The results are topical given that a bill proposing quotas for women in state assemblies is currently pending in the Indian Parliament.
More research is needed in this important area. 

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