Women’s leadership and the gendered consequences of austerity in the public sector: evidence from IMF programs

Reinsberg, B. , Kern, A., Heinzel, M. and Metinsoy, S. (2023) Women’s leadership and the gendered consequences of austerity in the public sector: evidence from IMF programs. Governance, (doi: 10.1111/gove.12764) (Early Online Publication)

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During times of economic turmoil, women often bear the cost of cuts in public spending and labor market deregulation. We argue that the adverse gendered consequences of austerity are mitigated when women occupy more political leadership positions. We test our argument using two independent sources of evidence. First, we use cross-country time-series data for 95 countries from 2000 to 2018 on public-sector employment outcomes and panel regressions to show that women leaders mitigate the adverse consequences of IMF programs for women in the public sector. Second, we use individual-level data from the World Values Surveys covering 50 countries from 2004 to 2015 to show that women in the public sector are more likely to fear job loss and endure income loss under IMF programs when the women share in the government of their country is low but that these adverse effects disappear once women are represented in the government. These results have important implications for debates on women's leadership as well as the impact of austerity on the public sector.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reinsberg, Dr Bernhard and Heinzel, Dr Mirko
Authors: Reinsberg, B., Kern, A., Heinzel, M., and Metinsoy, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Governance
ISSN (Online):1468-0491
Published Online:09 February 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Governance 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
311169Earmarked funding and the effectiveness of international development organizations (EF-IO)Bernhard ReinsbergMedical Research Council (MRC)MR/V022148/1S&PS - Politics