While a growing literature shows that women, relative to men, prefer greater investment in children, it is unclear whether empowering women produces better economic outcomes. Exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in US suffrage laws, we show that exposure to suffrage during childhood led to large increases in educational attainment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially Blacks and Southern Whites. We also find that suffrage led to higher earnings alongside education gains, although not for Southern Blacks. Using newly digitized data, we show that education increases are primarily explained by suffrage-induced growth in education spending, although early-life health improvements may have also contributed.
Kose, Esra, Elira Kuka, and Na'ama Shenhav.
"Women's Suffrage and Children's Education."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Analysis of Education
Educational Finance; Financial Aid
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy: U.S.; Canada: 1913-