Powerful women: Does exposure reduce bias?

Lori Beaman, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Rohini Pande, Petia Topalova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

496 Scopus citations


We exploit random assignment of gender quotas for leadership positions on Indian village councils to show that prior exposure to a female leader is associated with electoral gains for women. After ten years of quotas, women are more likely to stand for, and win, elected positions in councils required to have a female chief councilor in the previous two elections. We provide experimental and survey evidence on one channel of influence-changes in voter attitudes. Prior exposure to a female chief councilor improves perceptions of female leader effectiveness and weakens stereotypes about gender roles in the public and domestic spheres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1497-1540
Number of pages44
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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