We provide empirical evidence that female mayors do not affect the expenditure allocation or size of local governments. This result is robust across a variety of regression discontinuity and standard multivariate estimations. We also examine whether elected female candidates have an increased likelihood of being reelected in a subsequent election, which is a phenomenon that has previously been interpreted as a sign that female candidates who are elected are particularly able politicians because they won an initial election in spite of the fact that electorates are typically gender-biased against female novice candidates. We confirm this correlation in our sample, but we show that it results from women incumbents being more likely to run for reelection. Moreover, we show that among incumbents who run for reelection, women have a significant electoral disadvantage.
Local Public Finance Public Choice Gender Regression Discontinuity