Does Islamic rule boost women’s opportunities? RD evidence from Turkey

From a remarkable study by Erik Meyersson in the new Econometrica, highlights from the abstract:

In 1994, an Islamic party [in Turkey] won multiple municipal mayor seats across the country. Using a regression discontinuity (RD) design, I compare municipalities where this Islamic party barely won or lost elections…The RD results reveal that, over a period of six years, Islamic rule increased female secular high school education. Corresponding effects for men are systematically smaller and less precise. In the longer run, the effect on female education remained persistent up to 17 years after, and also reduced adolescent marriages. An analysis of long-run political effects of Islamic rule shows increased female political participation and an overall decrease in Islamic political preferences. The results are consistent with an explanation that emphasizes the Islamic party’s effectiveness in overcoming barriers to female entry for the poor and pious.


Ungated version posted on Meyersson’s website: link. On the Econometrica website: link.

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