Department of Economics
One Dent Drive
Lewisburg, PA 17837
Institutional Affiliation: Bucknell University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2018||Women's Suffrage and Children's Education|
with , : w24933
While a growing literature shows that women, relative to men, prefer greater investment in children, it is unclear whether empowering women produces better economic outcomes. Exploiting plausibly exogenous variation in U.S. suffrage laws, we show that exposure to suffrage during childhood led to large increases in educational attainment for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially blacks and Southern whites. We also find that suffrage led to higher earnings alongside education gains, although not for Southern blacks. Using newly-digitized data, we show that education increases are primarily explained by suffrage-induced growth in education spending, although early-life health improvements may have also contributed.