Berta Esteve-Volart

Department of Economics

Associate Professor

Office: Vari Hall, 1066
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 77029
Emailbertaev@gmail.com
Secondary websitehttps://ideas.repec.org/e/pes61.html

I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at York University. My work is on applied microeconomics with a focus on labour economics, gender, and voting. Some of my recent research is on topics such as the efficacy of gender quotas, economic voting, and performance pay in the public sector. I obtained my Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

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Area of Specialization

Applied microeconomics, with a focus on labour, gender and voting

Degrees

Ph.D. Economics, London School of Economics
M.Sc. Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
B.A. Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Selected Publications

Politicians' Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery
(with Manuel Bagues)
Journal of Political Economy , forthcoming.
Abstract: Incumbent politicians tend to receive more votes when economic conditions are good. In this paper we explore the source of this correlation, exploiting the ex- ceptional evidence provided by the Spanish Christmas Lottery. Because winning tickets are typically sold by one lottery outlet, winners tend to be geographi- cally clustered. This allows us to study the impact of exogenous good economic conditions on voting behavior. We find that incumbents receive significantly more votes in winning provinces. The evidence is consistent with a temporary increase in happiness making voters more lenient toward the incumbent, or with a stronger preference for the status quo.
[go to paper]

Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate
(with Manuel Bagues)
Journal of Public Economics , Vol. 96(3-4), 2012, pp.387-99
Abstract: This paper investigates the reasons behind the low representation of women among legislators. Using data from Spain, we find that parties tend to nominate female candidates to poorer positions on the ballot. We examine whether this is due to voter bias or party bias, and find two pieces of evidence supporting the latter: female candidates attract more votes, and political competition improves the quality of positions to which female candidates are assigned. Moreover, gender quotas fail to erode the strategic nomination of female candidates. The evidence in this paper helps explain why quotas in candidate lists might often lead to disappointing increases in the number of elected female politicians.
[go to paper]

Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment
(with Manuel Bagues)
Review of Economic Studies , Vol. 77(4), 2010, pp. 1301-28
Abstract: This paper studies whether the gender composition of recruiting committees matters. We make use of the unique evidence provided by Spanish public examinations, where the allocation of candidates to evaluating committees is random. We analyse how the chances of success of 150,000 female and male candidates for positions in the four main Corps of the Spanish Judiciary from 1987 to 2007 were affected by the gender composition of their evaluation committee. We find that a female (male) candidate is significantly less likely to be hired whenever she (he) is randomly assigned to a committee where the share of female (male) evaluators is relatively greater. Evidence from multiple choice tests suggests that this is due to the fact that female majority committees overestimate the quality of male candidates.
[go to paper]

All Publications

Book Chapters

The Policy Origins of Poverty and Growth in India
(with Tim Besley and Robin Burgess)
in Delivering on the Promise of Pro-Poor Growth, edited by Tim Besley and Louise Cord (London: Palgrave Macmillan and the World Bank)
[go to book chapter]

Journal Articles

Politicians' Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery
(with Manuel Bagues)
Journal of Political Economy , forthcoming.
Abstract: Incumbent politicians tend to receive more votes when economic conditions are good. In this paper we explore the source of this correlation, exploiting the ex- ceptional evidence provided by the Spanish Christmas Lottery. Because winning tickets are typically sold by one lottery outlet, winners tend to be geographi- cally clustered. This allows us to study the impact of exogenous good economic conditions on voting behavior. We find that incumbents receive significantly more votes in winning provinces. The evidence is consistent with a temporary increase in happiness making voters more lenient toward the incumbent, or with a stronger preference for the status quo.
[go to paper]

Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate
(with Manuel Bagues)
Journal of Public Economics , Vol. 96(3-4), 2012, pp.387-99
Abstract: This paper investigates the reasons behind the low representation of women among legislators. Using data from Spain, we find that parties tend to nominate female candidates to poorer positions on the ballot. We examine whether this is due to voter bias or party bias, and find two pieces of evidence supporting the latter: female candidates attract more votes, and political competition improves the quality of positions to which female candidates are assigned. Moreover, gender quotas fail to erode the strategic nomination of female candidates. The evidence in this paper helps explain why quotas in candidate lists might often lead to disappointing increases in the number of elected female politicians.
[go to paper]

Voter Turnout in a Multidimensional Policy Space
(with Rafael Hortala-Vallve)
Economics of Governance , Vol. 12(1), 2011, pp.25-49.
Abstract: We analyze the interaction between electoral competition and voters' decision to vote. We show that when voters consider both the benefits and the costs of voting, politicians offer differentiated policies to motivate citizens to vote. In particular, politicians adapt their policies to the most sensitive voters—thus less sensitive voters abstain on the grounds of perceiving politicians as being too similar. In a multidimensional policy space, this implies that citizens who only care about a few issues do not vote.
[go to paper]

Voter Turnout and Electoral Competition in a Multidimensional Policy Space
(with Rafael Hortala-Vallve)
European Journal of Political Economy , Vol. 27(2), 2011, pp.376-384.
Abstract: We analyze the interaction between electoral competition and voters' decision to vote. We show that when voters consider both the benefits and the costs of voting, politicians offer differentiated policies to motivate citizens to vote. In particular, politicians adapt their policies to the most sensitive voters—thus less sensitive voters abstain on the grounds of perceiving politicians as being too similar. In a multidimensional policy space, this implies that citizens who only care about a few issues do not vote.
[go to paper]

Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment
(with Manuel Bagues)
Review of Economic Studies , Vol. 77(4), 2010, pp. 1301-28
Abstract: This paper studies whether the gender composition of recruiting committees matters. We make use of the unique evidence provided by Spanish public examinations, where the allocation of candidates to evaluating committees is random. We analyse how the chances of success of 150,000 female and male candidates for positions in the four main Corps of the Spanish Judiciary from 1987 to 2007 were affected by the gender composition of their evaluation committee. We find that a female (male) candidate is significantly less likely to be hired whenever she (he) is randomly assigned to a committee where the share of female (male) evaluators is relatively greater. Evidence from multiple choice tests suggests that this is due to the fact that female majority committees overestimate the quality of male candidates.
[go to paper]

Upcoming Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall 2017 AP/ECON2300 3.0  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory I LECT  
Fall 2017 AP/ECON3709 3.0  Economics of Gender (Writing) LECT  


I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at York University. My work is on applied microeconomics with a focus on labour economics, gender, and voting. Some of my recent research is on topics such as the efficacy of gender quotas, economic voting, and performance pay in the public sector. I obtained my Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.

Area of Specialization

Applied microeconomics, with a focus on labour, gender and voting

Degrees

Ph.D. Economics, London School of Economics
M.Sc. Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
B.A. Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

All Publications

Book Chapters

The Policy Origins of Poverty and Growth in India
(with Tim Besley and Robin Burgess)
in Delivering on the Promise of Pro-Poor Growth, edited by Tim Besley and Louise Cord (London: Palgrave Macmillan and the World Bank)
[go to book chapter]

Journal Articles

Politicians' Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery
(with Manuel Bagues)
Journal of Political Economy , forthcoming.
Abstract: Incumbent politicians tend to receive more votes when economic conditions are good. In this paper we explore the source of this correlation, exploiting the ex- ceptional evidence provided by the Spanish Christmas Lottery. Because winning tickets are typically sold by one lottery outlet, winners tend to be geographi- cally clustered. This allows us to study the impact of exogenous good economic conditions on voting behavior. We find that incumbents receive significantly more votes in winning provinces. The evidence is consistent with a temporary increase in happiness making voters more lenient toward the incumbent, or with a stronger preference for the status quo.
[go to paper]

Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate
(with Manuel Bagues)
Journal of Public Economics , Vol. 96(3-4), 2012, pp.387-99
Abstract: This paper investigates the reasons behind the low representation of women among legislators. Using data from Spain, we find that parties tend to nominate female candidates to poorer positions on the ballot. We examine whether this is due to voter bias or party bias, and find two pieces of evidence supporting the latter: female candidates attract more votes, and political competition improves the quality of positions to which female candidates are assigned. Moreover, gender quotas fail to erode the strategic nomination of female candidates. The evidence in this paper helps explain why quotas in candidate lists might often lead to disappointing increases in the number of elected female politicians.
[go to paper]

Voter Turnout in a Multidimensional Policy Space
(with Rafael Hortala-Vallve)
Economics of Governance , Vol. 12(1), 2011, pp.25-49.
Abstract: We analyze the interaction between electoral competition and voters' decision to vote. We show that when voters consider both the benefits and the costs of voting, politicians offer differentiated policies to motivate citizens to vote. In particular, politicians adapt their policies to the most sensitive voters—thus less sensitive voters abstain on the grounds of perceiving politicians as being too similar. In a multidimensional policy space, this implies that citizens who only care about a few issues do not vote.
[go to paper]

Voter Turnout and Electoral Competition in a Multidimensional Policy Space
(with Rafael Hortala-Vallve)
European Journal of Political Economy , Vol. 27(2), 2011, pp.376-384.
Abstract: We analyze the interaction between electoral competition and voters' decision to vote. We show that when voters consider both the benefits and the costs of voting, politicians offer differentiated policies to motivate citizens to vote. In particular, politicians adapt their policies to the most sensitive voters—thus less sensitive voters abstain on the grounds of perceiving politicians as being too similar. In a multidimensional policy space, this implies that citizens who only care about a few issues do not vote.
[go to paper]

Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment
(with Manuel Bagues)
Review of Economic Studies , Vol. 77(4), 2010, pp. 1301-28
Abstract: This paper studies whether the gender composition of recruiting committees matters. We make use of the unique evidence provided by Spanish public examinations, where the allocation of candidates to evaluating committees is random. We analyse how the chances of success of 150,000 female and male candidates for positions in the four main Corps of the Spanish Judiciary from 1987 to 2007 were affected by the gender composition of their evaluation committee. We find that a female (male) candidate is significantly less likely to be hired whenever she (he) is randomly assigned to a committee where the share of female (male) evaluators is relatively greater. Evidence from multiple choice tests suggests that this is due to the fact that female majority committees overestimate the quality of male candidates.
[go to paper]


Teaching:

Upcoming Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall 2017 AP/ECON2300 3.0  Intermediate Microeconomic Theory I LECT  
Fall 2017 AP/ECON3709 3.0  Economics of Gender (Writing) LECT