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Esra Kose, Elira Kuka, and Na'ama Shenhav uncover the effects of women's suffrage on children's human capital

New research by recent UCD alumnae finds that state-level suffrage laws increased educational attainment and income among disadvantaged children

In a new working paper released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, Professors Esra Kose, Elira Kuka, and Na'ama Shenhav find that the expansion of women's suffrage across the United States in the early 20th century led to increased educational attainment and income for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Exploiting the staggered timing of state-level suffrage laws—together with Census microdata and newly digitized data on school enrollments, expenditures, and infant mortality—they find that women's enfranchisement led to increased educational attainment and income among cohorts of children born after suffrage. Their findings echo prior research indicating that female voters tend to favor greater investments in children's human capital.

Kose, Kuka, and Shenhav are all recent graduates of the UC Davis Economics PhD program. Kose (UCD '17) is now an assistant professor of economics at Bucknell University. Kuka (UCD '15) is an assistant professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, as well as a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. Shenhav (UCD '16) is an assistant professor of economics at Dartmouth College.

August 30, 2018