Electoral Competition, Voter Bias and Women in Politics

72 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2018 Last revised: 22 Nov 2019

See all articles by Thomas Le Barbanchon

Thomas Le Barbanchon

Bocconi University

Julien Sauvagnat

Bocconi University; Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2019

Abstract

We quantify the implications of voter bias and electoral competition for politicians' gender composition. Unfavorable voters' attitudes towards women and local gender earnings gap correlate negatively with the share of female candidates in Parliamentary elections. Using within-candidate variation across the different polling stations of an electoral district in a given election year, we find that female candidates obtain fewer votes in municipalities with higher gender earnings gaps. We show theoretically that when voters are biased against women, parties facing gender quotas select male candidates in the most contestable districts. We find empirical support for such a strategic party response to voter gender bias. Simulating our calibrated model confirms that competition significantly hinders the effectiveness of gender quotas.

Keywords: women in politics, electoral competition, gender attitudes, gender quotas

JEL Classification: D72, D78, J16

Suggested Citation

Le Barbanchon, Thomas and Sauvagnat, Julien, Electoral Competition, Voter Bias and Women in Politics (November 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3270570 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3270570

Thomas Le Barbanchon

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Julien Sauvagnat (Contact Author)

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Bocconi University - IGIER - Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
113
Abstract Views
904
rank
278,171
PlumX Metrics