Maria Tackett

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Business and Economics



Committee Chair

Andrew T Young

Committee Co-Chair

Joshua C Hall

Committee Member

Lauren Heller

Committee Member

Adam Nowak

Committee Member

Amanda Ross


This dissertation is a collection of essays that incorporate institutional analysis into Economics of Gender research. I specifically consider the role of institutional arrangements in the economic status of women, opportunities the institutional arrangements create for women, and outcomes of changes in institutional arrangements that affect women. In chapter 2 I investigate the relationship between income distribution inequality and labor mobility, as globalization is viewed in the existing literature as aiding income inequality by allowing greater capital mobility but not mobility of labor. The literature argues that globalization creates changes in bargaining power for labor and capital owners thus decreasing income share received by labor. I find that while male mobility is indeed negatively related to labor share, female mobility has a positive association with labor share. In chapter 3 I estimate the relationship between the institutions of economic freedom and women's share of managers. The motivation is policymakers' concerns with low female representation in leadership positions, which among others include women in corporate management. I find a positive relationship between the two, implying that less regulated markets provide incentives that favor less gender discrimination for this type of employment. In chapter 4, jointly with Andrew Young, we seek to explain the relationship between female suffrage rights and government growth while taking spatial dependence effects into account. Women and men have different preferences when it comes to publicly provided goods. Specifically women prefer higher government spending on health and education. Literature has linked this distinction in preferences and women suffrage rights to government growth in the U.S. At the same time, local governments have been shown to engage in yardstick competition creating spatial spillovers. We find no relationship between government overall spending and taxation levels with suffrage rights implementation, after we control for spatial correlation. We additionally find that spending on social services by a state has a positive association with suffrage rights being implemented in that state and neighboring states. For example, that granting female suffrage rights in one state is associated with higher government spending on social services in neighboring states.