Gender and Dynastic Political Selection

56 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017 Last revised: 10 Feb 2020

See all articles by Olle Folke

Olle Folke

Uppsala University - Department of Government

Johanna Karin Rickne

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Daniel M. Smith

Columbia University

Date Written: February 6, 2020

Abstract

Throughout history and across countries, women appear more likely than men to enter politics on the heels of a close family relative or spouse. To explain this dynastic bias in women’s representation, we introduce a theory that integrates political selection decisions with informational inequalities across social groups. Candidates with dynastic ties benefit from the established reputations of their predecessors, but these signals of quality are more important to newcomers such as women. Legislator-level data from twelve democracies and candidate-level data from Ireland and Sweden support the idea that dynastic ties are differentially more helpful to women, and that the quality of predecessors may be more relevant for the entry and evaluation of female successors than their male counterparts. The role of informational inequalities is also reflected in the declining dynastic bias over time (as more women enter politics), and in the differential effect of a gender quota across Swedish municipalities.

Keywords: Dynasties, Gender Representation, Gender Quota, Ireland, Sweden

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Folke, Olle and Rickne, Johanna Karin and Smith, Daniel M., Gender and Dynastic Political Selection (February 6, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2985230 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2985230

Olle Folke

Uppsala University - Department of Government ( email )

Scheelevägen 15 D
SE-223 70
Lund
Sweden

Johanna Karin Rickne

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

Daniel M. Smith (Contact Author)

Columbia University ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/danielmarkhamsmith

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