The influence of women’s representation on social spending in local government

Oded Steklov, Anat Gofen, Yaniv Reingewertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compared to men, women tend to prioritize social services, which are usually the responsibility of local government. Female political representation often serves not only as an indicator for descriptive gender equality but also as a common policy instrument for substantive female representation. Yet, empirical evidence of female political representation’s influence on promoting female voters’ priorities is inconclusive. Examining the correlation between the percent of female politicians in Israeli local government and social spending from local government sources over nine budget years, this study shows that only education spending is influenced by female political representation and only when combined with a female mayor. Our main contribution is in showing that female representation in the local council on its own, without the representation of a female mayor, is insufficient for promoting female voters’ priorities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Urban Affairs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Urban Affairs Association.


  • Local government
  • female mayor
  • female representation
  • local budget
  • social spending

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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