Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?

42 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2013

See all articles by Sonia R. Bhalotra

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Irma Clots-Figueras

University of Kent

Lakshmi Iyer

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

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of a woman's electoral victory on women's subsequent political participation. Using the regression discontinuity afforded by close elections between women and men in India's state elections, we find that a woman winning office leads to a large and significant increase in the share of female candidates from major political parties in the subsequent election. This stems mainly from an increased probability that previous women candidates contest again, an important margin in India where a substantial number of incumbents do not contest re-election. There is no significant entry of new female candidates, no change in female or male voter turnout and no spillover effects to neighboring areas. Further analysis points to a reduction in party bias against women candidates as the main mechanism driving the observed increase in women's candidacy.

Keywords: candidacy, gender, politics, India

JEL Classification: J16, J71, P16

Suggested Citation

Bhalotra, Sonia R. and Clots-Figueras, Irma and Iyer, Lakshmi, Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7771, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2363272

Sonia R. Bhalotra (Contact Author)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Irma Clots-Figueras

University of Kent ( email )

Keynes College
Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP
United Kingdom

Lakshmi Iyer

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

Cambridge, MA
United States

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