Gender and Dynastic Political Recruitment
55 Pages Posted: 13 Jun 2017 Last revised: 4 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 2, 2019
Throughout history and across countries, women appear more likely than men to enter politics on the heels of a close relative or spouse. We introduce a theoretical explanation that can help to explain this dynastic bias in gender representation by integrating political selection decisions with informational inequalities across social groups. Legislator-level data from twelve democracies and candidate-level data from Sweden and Ireland support the idea that dynastic ties are differentially more helpful to women seeking to win elections, and that the quality of predecessors is more relevant for the evaluation of female successors than their male counterparts. The role of informational inequalities in explaining the dynastic bias in gender representation is also reflected in a declining bias over time and a differential effect of the introduction of a gender quota in Sweden across municipalities with varying levels of ex ante gender representation.
Keywords: Dynasties, Gender Representation, Gender Quota, Sweden, Ireland
JEL Classification: D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation