The Effect of Female Leadership on Contracting from Capitol Hill to Main Street
This paper provides novel evidence that female politicians increase the proportion of US government procurement contracts allocated to women-owned firms. The identification strategy uses close elections for the US House of Representatives. The effect concentrates in local contractors and persists after the female’s politician departure. The more gender-balanced representation in government contracting does not seem to be associated with economic costs, as the firm characteristics of the average contractor and contract performances are unchanged. By analyzing congressional requests from legislators to federal agencies, we show that female politicians affect procurement contract allocation through individual oversight.
Co-Author(s): Jonathan Brogaard, Maximilian Rohrer