Research Insights: Can Electoral Incentives Explain Gender Differences in Leaders' Behavior?
Female and male mayors in Brazil responded differently to the COVID-19 crisis, with effects on mortality that varied over time. In the early months of the pandemic, female-led municipalities were less likely to close essential businesses and had higher COVID-19 death rates compared to male-led municipalities. Towards the end of the year 2020, however, female-led municipalities were more likely to close essential businesses and had fewer COVID-19 deaths than male-led municipalities. This suggests that female and male mayors handled the crisis in distinct ways, with implications for understanding gender differences in policymaking and crisis management.