Gender and public goods provision in Tamil Nadu's village governments uri icon


  • Using data from 144 village-level governments in India's Tamil Nadu state, we investigate political reservations for women and whether the gender of village government leaders influences the provision of village public goods. A knowledge test of village government presidents and a survey about the interaction between village presidents and higher-level officials reveal that female village government presidents have much lower knowledge of the village government system than do their male counterparts and have significantly less contact with higher-level government officials. Although male and female presidents provide similar amounts of some public goods, we find strong evidence that village governments led by a woman built fewer schools and roads-two public goods that require relatively more contact and coordination with higher-level officials. JEL codes: H4, O1

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2014