Selected article

Ferreira, F., & Gyourko, J. (2014). Does gender matter for political leadership? The case of US mayors. Journal of Public Economics, 112, 24-39.

Question No. 1. What is the title of the article? Briefly describe (100 words or less) the nature or purpose of the research.

Title: Does Gender Matter for Political Leadership? The Case of U.S. Mayors

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to study the impact of gender on political leadership. Specifically this article investigates the impact of female participation in the executive branch of United States cities. The differential focus of this study as compared to others is on women in chief executive positions in the local public sector and on legislative participation. (Page No. 2)

Question No. 2. Is it a quantitative, qualitative, or mix method research (site page and evidence).

This is a quantitative research because it uses numerical data which can be transformed into useable statistics. All the analysis shown in tables and figures (page 24 – 37) is based on statistical/numerical data showing results as probabilities, frequencies, percentages, numbers, means, and standard deviations is a clear evidence of this study being a quantitative research. Page 24 – 37

The study used Regression Discontinuity (RD) research design to analyze the data and Regression Discontinuity is used with quantitative research. Page 1, 3, and 15

Question No. 3. What are the variables (independent, dependent)?  Were there other secondary independent or dependent variables or confounding variables?  (site page or evidence)

Independent Variable

Gender of the Mayor is an independent variable because the purpose and title of the article suggest that the researchers want to find the impact of gender on other variables (dependent) which means that gender of the mayors is independent in this study.

Dependent Variables

Size of Government, Allocation of resources, selected employment categories, and Crime Indexes. Table 3, Page 25

Confounding Variables: Population, median income, percentage of white households, percentage of households with a college degree, homeownership rate, the median house value, and whether the mayor is a Democrat, are all confounding variables. Table 3 (Notes), Page 25

Question No. 4. Briefly describe the research method or research design. (include sample selections, demographic, instrument, procedure; site page or evidence)

Research Design (Method, Data, Data Sources, Procedure)

The study used mayoral election survey data of more than 5,500 direct mayoral elections held in 575 cities/townships from 1950 till 2005. The selected cities are appropriately representative of the universe of municipalities. The research merged public finance data from Historical Data Base of Individual Government Finances (1970-2005), and the Census Bureau City Finances Series (1950-1969) thus covering fiscal years (1950 – 2005). The study also merges crime data from FBI reports and Department of Justice into the election data. Since the cities in which women participate in local politics have unique features associated with certain types of policies. Also there are some unobserved features of the community that influence barriers to women’s political advancement and are still correlated with policy outcomes. To cater for this problem this research used Regression Discontinuity (RD) design. This study compare short and long term outcomes across elections in which female candidate barely wins against a male to those in which a woman barely loses to a male candidate. I would like to add here that the researchers used formulas to find results regarding impacts but those formulas are beyond the scope of my understanding. Page No. 7-8



Question No. 5. Were there hypothesis (es) stated or research questions? (site page or evidence)

The study does not clearly state the hypotheses of this research. However questions that this research tried to answer can be found.

  1. What are the consequences of electing a female leader for policy and political outcomes? (found in Abstract)
  2. What is the impact of female participation in the executive branch of U.S. cities?

(Page No. 2)

However, these questions have been split into different variables as shown in tables at the end of the paper.

Question No. 6. What was the level of confidence for the hypothesis (es) testing? (site evidence).

Confidence level has not been mentioned explicitly in this article. So that question seems not applicable to my selected article.

Question No. 7. What were the results of the study?  (site evidence)

The study found that the having female mayor does not impact any of the four groups of policy outcomes i.e. size of government, allocation of expenditures, selected employment categories and crime rates, as compared to when a male mayor is selected. Thus gender has no impact on policy outcomes as per findings of this study. For example the analysis found a 0.003% positive difference in total revenues per capita in case of a female mayor. Total taxes per capita were found to be smaller by only 1.5%. Similarly difference in fraction of spending on salaries and wages is different by only 1.2%. Crime rates, health and welfare also show similar negligible and insignificant differences.

Question No. 8. What recommendations did the researcher offer?

The study does not offer any future recommendations. Hence Not Applicable

Question No. 9. What limitations did the researcher state?

This study also does not state any limitations and hence this question is also NOT APPLICABLE



Ferreira, F., & Gyourko, J. (2014). Does gender matter for political leadership? The case of US mayors. Journal of Public Economics, 112, 24-39.