Gender and Lawmaking in Times of Quotas

95 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2019 Last revised: 2 Jun 2019

Date Written: May 30, 2019


This article investigates whether female legislators defend the interests of women more than their male counterparts in a context of gender quotas. I combine quasi-experimental variations to randomize the gender of legislators with text analysis to identify women-related policies among more than 300,000 amendments discussed in the French Parliament over the period 2001-2017. I show that (i) female legislators are twice as likely to initiate women-related amendments, (ii) women's issues constitute the key topic where women are more active, followed by child and health issues, while men are more likely to initiate amendments related to electoral and military issues, (iii) these differences partly stem from legislators' individual interests, and (iv) these findings are consistent in both the Lower and Upper Houses when mixed-gender close races and a natural experiment are exploited. From a public policy perspective, the results suggest that gender quotas lead to a shift in policymaking and a greater prevalence of women's issues in Parliament.

Keywords: Gender, Elections, Public Policy

JEL Classification: D72, J16, J71

Suggested Citation

Lippmann, Quentin, Gender and Lawmaking in Times of Quotas (May 30, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Quentin Lippmann (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

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