WAPPP Seminar Series: Women Leaving the Playpen: The Emancipating Role of Female Suffrage


Thursday, April 29, 2021, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Hosted Online

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Alois Stutzer | Professor of Political Economy, University of Basel

How did political empowerment affect women's emancipation as reflected in their life choices? In their research, the authors analyze the staggered introduction of female suffrage in Swiss states. It allows them to exploit the variation in the age women experienced enfranchisement to estimate the differences in life choices between women who were socialized in a world where women had a say in politics and those who were socialized before. Their empirical findings document that political empowerment increased female labor force participation, weakened marital bonds and motivated human capital investment. Their evidence suggests that changes in formal political institutions hold the power to change socially entrenched behaviors.

Dr. Alois Stutzer is considered one of the leading scholars in the economic analysis of happiness and his work is cited throughout the social sciences. He has authored numerous scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-author of ‚Happiness and Economics’ (Princeton University Press). He is the director of the Center for Research in Economics and Well-Being (CREW) at the University of Basel. Since 2012, he serves as an editor of the scientific journal Kyklos.

Alois Stutzer is a full professor for political economics at the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Basel since 2009. He studied economics at the University of Zurich where he also received his Ph.D. in 2001. In 2002, he stayed as a research fellow at the Center for Law and Economics at the University of California at Berkeley. His research interests include political economics, public economics, law and economics, and economics and psychology.