Path-Breakers? Women’s Electoral Success and Future Political Participation

55 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2013 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016

See all articles by Sonia Bhalotra

Sonia Bhalotra

University of Essex

Irma Clots‐Figueras

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Lakshmi Iyer

Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit

Date Written: January 11, 2016

Abstract

We investigate whether the event of a woman being competitively elected as a state legislator encourages the subsequent political participation of women, using a regression discontinuity design on constituency level data from India. We find that female incumbents are more likely than male incumbents to re-contest and that there is a decline in the entry of new women candidates. This decline is most pronounced in states with entrenched gender bias and in male-headed parties, suggesting an intensification of barriers against women in these areas. Similar results for (mostly male) Muslim candidates indicate the presence of institutionalized demand-side barriers rather than gender-specific preferences and constraints.

Keywords: Political participation, women, candidates, gender bias, backlash, minority representation, regression discontinuity, India

JEL Classification: J16, J71, P16

Suggested Citation

Bhalotra, Sonia and Clots‐Figueras, Irma and Iyer, Lakshmi, Path-Breakers? Women’s Electoral Success and Future Political Participation (January 11, 2016). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 14-035. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350805 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2350805

Sonia Bhalotra

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Irma Clots‐Figueras

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

No Address Available

Lakshmi Iyer (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

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