Essays in political and gender economics

Righetto, Giovanni (2023) Essays in political and gender economics, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Economics, 34 Ciclo.
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In the first chapter, “Political power and the influence of minorities: theory and evidence from Italy”, I analyze the relationship between minority and majority in politics, and how it can influence policy outcomes. I first present a theoretical model describing the possible consequences of an increase in a minority’s political power and show how it can increase difficulties in reaching a compromise on policy outcomes between parties. Furthermore, I empirically test these implications by exploiting the introduction in 2012 of a gender quota in Italian local elections: the increase in female politicians had heterogeneous effects on the level of funding for daycare, based on its differential effects on the share of women councillors. The second chapter, “Marriage patterns and the gender gap in labor force participation: evidence from Italy”, presents evidence highlighting a new possible determinant of the large gender gap in the Italian labor force: endogamy intensity. I argue that endogamy helps preserve social norms stigmatizing working women and reduces the probability of divorce, which disincentivizes women’s participation in the labor force. Endogamy is proxied by the degree of concentration of its surnames’ distribution, and I provide evidence that a more intense custom of endogamy contributed to enlarging gender participation gaps across Italian municipalities in 2001. The third chapter, “Information and quality of politicians: is transparency helping voters?”, studies how voting choices are affected by giving voters more personal information on candidates. I exploit the introduction of the “Spazzacorrotti” law in Italy in 2019, which imposed candidates at local elections to publish their CVs and criminal records before elections. I find no effects on elected candidates’ age, gender, educational level, or ideology. Moreover, I present anecdotal evidence that candidates with a criminal record received fewer votes on average, but only in the case of local media exposing it.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Righetto, Giovanni
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Conflict, committee, gender quotas, day care investments, Endogamy, Female labor, Italy, Social norms, Voters, Information, Local Elections, Criminal Records
Data di discussione
20 Giugno 2023

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