What happens when a woman wins an election in an environment dominated by male politicians? In a recent paper with her co-author Ugo Troiano, Dr. Fernanda Brollo studies the different policies that female mayors choose when governing Brazilian Municipalities. To isolate precisely the differences in mayoral candidates, Brollo focuses on municipalities with very close elections between male and female candidates, comparing those where a man barely won to those where a women barely won.
Using this approach, Brollo finds that municipalities with female mayors receive more discretionary transfers from the federal government, and that female mayors perform better on both health outcomes and corruption. Despite the apparent benefits of having women win elections, female mayors are substantially less likely to win re-election, and evidence suggests that their male counter-parts are more likely to use political patronage to win again.
The CGD Europe Research Seminars are a series that brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations aim to meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, and retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policy-makers. A light lunch will be provided.