Cross, Karie Elizabeth (2011). "Freedom for All, or Freedom for Some?: Testing the Effectiveness of Quotas against the Empowerment of Women" Paper presented at the 8th annual conference of the HDCA, 6-8 September 2011, the Hague, the Netherlands.

Gender quotas for female legislators at the national level are a relatively new phenomenon in the developing world. Because this new policy is so prevalent, it is important to determine whether it is achieving its objectives of increasing female representation and promoting policies that empower women. I use a difference in differences test to show that quotas do not have a statistically significant effect upon the female labor force participation rate in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This may be because quota percentages are not high enough, not enough time has passed since they were implemented, or female legislators are heavily influenced by males. Two case studies on India and Pakistan demonstrate that quotas cannot be very effective at promoting female-empowering policies unless democratic principles are strong within the nation and women are also able to hold leadership positions. However, quotas do change male attitudes towards female leaders, and many female leaders provide public goods that better fit the needs of women at a cheaper cost than male leaders. Thus, I recommend that developing nations implement gender quotas as an instrument of development that enhances the capability and agency of women.