Did Women's Suffrage Change the Size and Scope of Government?

Journal of Political Economy (Impact Factor: 2.9). 02/1999; 107(6):1163-1198. DOI: 10.1086/250093
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870–1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did. More married women did not vote for Dole because of a widespread sense of societal insecurity: ‘‘It is not that they distrust their husband, but they have seen

Download full-text


Available from: Lawrence Kenny, Sep 28, 2015
408 Reads
  • Source
    • "Women suffrage (Lott and Kenny, 1999; Funk and Guthmann, 2006) which caused the growth of government. Blacks enfranchisement case (after 1964) presented by Sieglie (1997), shows how this group political empowerment caused redistribution increase and budget deficit worsening. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Advocates of the war against discrimination and affirmative action claim it is necessary to set up additional regulatory procedures that will defend interests of minorities who, previously, were not given enough chances to succeed. Because there is no set definition of a minority who suffered from discrimination in the past (Historically Excluded Groups [HEGs] consider all women to be a minority), law-enforcement practices are to a large degree dependent on precedence (judicial authorities) as well as the behavior of bureaucrats who have the authority to defend people against discrimination. Incentives and the true criteria for choosing minorities will be analyzed in this report. There are practices in the USA and Israel, as well as statistics of EEOC practices (a committee on equal rights in hiring, that is a kind of specialized public prosecution office) supporting the hypothesis that the main anti-discriminatory activity aims to mobilize groups who traditionally voted against a limited government, to vote for a nanny state that provides cradle to grave care.
    MPSA 2015, Chicago; 04/2015
  • Source
    • "Aidt et al. (2006) and Aidt and Dallal (2008) examine the effect of female suffrage on fiscal policies in Europe and show that it increased public spending on health, education, housing, redistribution and social insurance. Lott and Kenny (1999) also argue that the adoption of female suffrage coincided with increases in expenditures and more liberal voting patterns for representatives. Edlund and Pande (2003) explain female preferences with respect to redistribution and left-wing policies by the decline in marriage rates which made women relatively poorer than men in the United States. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Does the gender of political representatives affect the extent to which they adhere to the voter majority's preferences? By matching individual male and female representatives' votes on legislative proposals with real referendum outcomes on the same issues, we obtain a direct measure of divergence. We find that female and male representatives adhere equally close to the majority's preferences if party affiliations are taken into account. This suggests that observed gender differences with respect to the national majority of voters may be reduced to an ideological left–right dimension.
    Economics and Politics 11/2014; 26(3). DOI:10.1111/ecpo.12039 · 0.63 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Gender quotas may also have an impact on local policies. Women and men have different preferences both as voters (Edlund and Pande, 2002; Lott and Kenny, 1999; Aidt et al., 2006; Bertocchi, 2011) and as policy-makers. Women seem to prefer a different allocation of public funds, favoring projects that support female needs (Chattopadhyay and Duflo, 2004; Rehavi, 2007; Funk and Gathmann, 2010; Clots-Figueras, 2011) and that provide more public goods (Duflo and Topalova, 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We analyze the effects of the introduction of gender quotas in candidate lists on the quality of elected politicians,as measured by the average number of years of education. We consider an Italian law which introduced gender quotas in local elections in 1993, and was abolished in 1995. As not all municipalities went through elections during this period, we identify two groups of municipalities and use a Difference in differences estimation.We find that gender quotas are associated with an increase in the quality of elected politicians, with the effect ranging from 0.12 to 0.24 years of education. This effect is due not only to the higher number of elected women, who are on average more educated than men, but also to the lower number of low-educated elected men. The positive effect on quality is confirmed when we measure the latter with alternative indicators, it persists in the long run and it is robust to controlling for political ideology and political competition.
    Journal of Public Economics 10/2014; 118:62-74. DOI:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2014.06.008 · 1.46 Impact Factor
Show more