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Abstract

If women have different economic preferences than men, then female economic and political empowerment is likely to change policy and household decisions, and in turn macroeconomic outcomes. We test the hypothesis that female enfranchisement leads to lower government budget deficits due gender differences in preferences over fiscal outcomes. Estimating the impact of women's vote on budget deficits in a differences-in-differences regression for Swiss cantonal panel data, we find that including women in the electorate reduces average per capita budget deficits by a statistically significant amount.

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