<p>NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES
DOES GENDER MATTER FOR POLITICAL LEADERSHIP? THE CASE OF U.S.
Working Paper 17671
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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The authors thank the Research Sponsor Program of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton
for financial support. Andrew Moore and Moises Yi provided outstanding research assistance. We
also appreciate the comments and suggestions of David Lee, Marit Rehavi, and seminar participants
at the Princeton University, Harris School of Public Policy, National Tax Association, London School
of Economics, Inter-American Bank of Development, Harvard University, and Brown University.
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the
National Bureau of Economic Research.
NBER working papers are circulated for discussion and comment purposes. They have not been peer-
reviewed or been subject to the review by the NBER Board of Directors that accompanies official
Â© 2011 by Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to
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Does Gender Matter for Political Leadership? The Case of U.S. Mayors
Fernando Ferreira and Joseph Gyourko
NBER Working Paper No. 17671
JEL No. H0,J0
What are the consequences of electing a female leader for policy and political outcomes? We answer
this question in the context of U.S. cities, where womenâ€™s participation in mayoral elections increased
from negligible numbers in 1970 to about one-third of the elections in the 2000â€™s. We use a novel
data set of U.S. mayoral elections from 1950 to 2005, and apply a regression discontinuity design to
deal with the endogeneity of female candidacy to city characteristics. In contrast to most research
on the influen