Women and Power: Unwilling, Ineffective, or Held Back?

55 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2011

See all articles by Pablo Casas-Arce

Pablo Casas-Arce

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business

Albert Saiz

MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We develop a model that nests previous explanations for women under-representation in positions of power. Focusing on democratic electoral dynamics, our framework delineates the three types of mechanisms that may be at play: consumer demand, candidate supply, and internal party dynamics beyond electoral markets. We use Spain's Equality Law, requiring a 40 percent female quota in electoral lists, to test the alternative theories. The law was enacted by the social-democratic party after the surprise parliamentary electoral results following the Madrid terrorist bombings, and was therefore completely unexpected by regional political machines. The law only applied to towns with populations above 5000, so we can use a treatment-control, before-and-after discontinuity design to learn about the impact of female politicians in local elections. Our evidence is most consistent with the existence of entrenched male-dominated political machines capturing influential power positions within the parties.

Keywords: female political representation

JEL Classification: J16, J71

Suggested Citation

Casas-Arce, Pablo and Saiz, Albert, Women and Power: Unwilling, Ineffective, or Held Back?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5645. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1812530

Pablo Casas-Arce (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3706
United States

Albert Saiz

MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States
617-252-1687 (Phone)
617-258-6991 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
144
rank
198,356
Abstract Views
1,509
PlumX Metrics