What do women want? female suffrage and the size of government
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The scanty economic literature has attributed to female voting part of the increase in government expenditure and social government expenditure over the XXth century. This finding results puzzling considering that the political science literature has documented that women tended to be more conservative and right wing supporters over the first half of the XXth century across a wide set of developed and developing countries. We argue that current estimates on this relationship are afflicted by strong endogeneity bias. Using data for 46 countries we find that the introduction of female suffrage did not increased in average the social and total government expenditure. In our estimates we use a novel instrument set related to the diffusion of female suffrage across the globe. Further, research should focus on the determinants of women preferences across the political spectrum in order to understand the also documented movement of women towards the left that has occurred in some countries after the eighties, well after the introduction of female suffrage.