A panel regression analysis of the impact of the franchise on budget deficits in Swiss cantons shows that Swiss women indeed prefer lower budget deficits than men. The effect is small, but significant and very robust, implying that female enfranchisement may have mitigated the debt built-ups of the last decades. On a more general note, the findings suggest that vesting economic and political power with women is likely to change macroeconomic outcomes, not just because female empowerment doubles the available amount of talent or labor in the economy, but because women’s preferences, and therefore decisions, are different from men’s.
Jan 5, 2012
Women and budget deficits