Closing time! Examining the impact of gender and executive branch policy makers on the timing of stay-at-home orders




Shay, Laine P.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Cambridge University Press


The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic has significantly altered lives across the globe. In the United States, several states attempted to manage the pandemic by issuing stay-at-home orders. In this research note, I examine whether the gender of state policy makers in the executive branch might impact a state's adoption of a stay-at-home order. Using event history analysis, I find that the governor's gender has no impact on the likelihood of a state adopting a stay-at-home order. However, I find that gender plays a significant role for agency heads. Specifically, my analysis shows that states with a female-headed health agency tend to adopt stay-at-home orders earlier than states with a male administrator. These findings shed light on how female leadership in the executive branch may impact public policy regarding COVID-19.



State politics, health policy, executive branch politics, bureaucratic politics, gender politics



Attribution 4.0 International


Shay, L.P., 2020. Closing Time! Examining the Impact of Gender and Executive Branch Policy Makers on the Timing of Stay-at-Home Orders. Politics & Gender, 16(4), pp.935-942.