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SEX AND THE CITY: FEMALE LEADERS AND SPENDING ON SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMS IN U.S. MUNICIPALITIES

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ABSTRACT

Scholars of urban politics often argue that cities will shy away from extensive funding of social welfare programs, as fiscal realities make developmental policies far more attractive. Despite these arguments, cities continue to fund social welfare programs. One possible explanation is that some local officials prefer funding welfare programs. This research demonstrates that the presence of a female mayor has a large, positive influence on the likelihood a city participates in funding social welfare programs and the amount of monetary resources a city dedicates to these programs. High levels of female representation on city councils and a mayor-council form of government both interact with the presence of a female mayor to increase the provision and size of social welfare programs in cities.

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