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The Masks of the Political God by Luca Ozzano

When are Women Elevated to Central Bank Boards? Institutions, Politics and Development

Comparative Politics
Political Economy
Cristina Bodea
Michigan State University
Cristina Bodea
Michigan State University


In this Paper I investigate systematically the prevalence of women in the top echelons of leadership of central banks. This includes top positions as central bank governors or presidents, as well as membership in, what I call generically, the central bank boards. The percentage of women in leadership positions in boards at the central banks in the 100 countries I code is somewhere around 10-15% for 2001-2013, although there is an upward trend. I use country and year fixed effects models and find that a larger share of women in the boards of central banks is more likely when: boards include more members; the percent of women in national legislatures is greater than 40 percent; the central bank has more independence; the exchange rate regime is flexible; and oil rents are low. On the other hand, surprisingly, democracies and PR electoral system countries reduce the share of women in central bank boards. Also, surprisingly, income and women’s labor force participation does not affect the share of women in leadership position in central bank boards.
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