Media Influence on Pollution, and Gender Equality

University dissertation from Stockholm : Department of Economics, Stockholm University

Abstract: This thesis consists of three essays.The first essay, "Press and Leaks: Do Newspapers Reduce Toxic Emissions?", uses data on plant-level emissions in 2001-2009 from the Toxic Release Inventory of the US Environmental Protection Agency, coupled with data on location and content of newspapers, to investigate whether media coverage induces firms to reduce toxic emissions. The results show that an increase in Newspapers Density, that is the number of newspapers nearby the plant, raises the press coverage of the plant's toxic emissions and reduces the amount of these emissions. This association is larger in industries exposed to consumer pressure and in counties subjected to extreme negative health outcomes.The second essay, "Gender Quotas, Female Politicians and Public Expenditures: Quasi-Experimental Evidence", estimates the effect of gender quotas on the election of female politicians and on public finance decisions in Spanish municipalities, using a Before-After Regression Discontinuity Design. Gender quotas have increased the percentage of female candidates and also, but to a lower extent, the percentage of female councilors. The difference between the two effects is due to the strategic positioning of candidates within lists. The effect of quotas on the election of female mayors and on the size and composition of municipal expenditures is not statistically different from zero.The third essay, "Are attitudes endogenous to political regimes? Beliefs about working women in state-socialist countries", studies whether individual beliefs about gender roles are endogenous to political regimes, using a Difference-in-Differences analysis. The results suggest a significant difference in the evolution of attitudes towards gender roles between Europeans in state-socialist countries and other Europeans during the period 1947-1991. Central and Eastern Europeans who formed their attitudes during state socialism seem more likely to hold progressive beliefs regarding working women.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.