Gendered bureaucracies: Women mayors and the size and composition of local governments

Carla Alberti, Diego Diaz-Rioseco, Giancarlo Visconti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


While women are underrepresented in politics, recent improvements in women's representation in legislative and executive bodies have spurred academic interest in the effects of electing women on a wide array of outcomes. Effects on bureaucracies, however, have received less attention. Do women mayors reform local bureaucracies differently than their men counterparts? We take advantage of rich administrative data from Chile to explore the effects of having a woman mayor on the size and gender composition of municipal bureaucracies. Using a regression discontinuity design in close electoral races, we find that women mayors reduce the size of local bureaucracies while simultaneously increasing the share of women public employees. Our findings thus show that women mayors' approach to bureaucratic reform once in office differs from that of their men counterparts, and contribute to existing research on the consequences of electing women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)757-776
Number of pages20
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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