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Development Seminar | Women’s political participation and development

Content from the Brookings Institution India Center is now archived. After seven years of an impactful partnership, as of September 11, 2020, Brookings India is now the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, an independent public policy institution based in India.

Our recent Development Seminar was on Women’s political participation and development” with Dr. Sonia Bhalotra, Professor of Economics at University of Essex.

Abstract: There has been a phenomenal global increase in the proportion of women in politics in the last two decades, but there is little evidence on how this influences economic performance or health outcomes. This research highlights two main findings – in the Indian context, constituencies that elect women witness higher growth in economic activity, and in a cross-country context, quotas for women in parliament leads to decline in maternal mortality.

Author’s Bio: Professor Bhalotra’s research focuses on topics of child development, global health, gender and family economics, political economy and intergenerational mobility. In her work, she has used micro-data from several developing countries, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and early-20th century America. She is a co-investigator of the Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) Center for Microsocial Change, as well as the ESRC-funded program on Human Rights, Big Data & Technology. Prof. Bhalotra holds a D.Phil in Economics from Oxford.


Atishi Marlena is a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party. She has played a pivotal role in revamping the state of education in government run schools in Delhi. Atishi is also a committed activist who has chosen politics as the means to achieve lasting change. She is a graduate of Oxford University

Professor Mudit Kapoor is an Associate Professor of Economics at Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi Centre. His research interests are in Development Economics, Gender, and Political Economy. Prof. Kapoor holds an M.A. from Delhi School of Economics and Ph.D. from University of Maryland, College Park.

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