Democratic Party Control Reduces Gender Inequality

Legislative Studies Quarterly

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See all articles by John Seungmin Kuk

John Seungmin Kuk

University of Oklahoma - Department of Political Science

Zoltan L. Hajnal

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 25, 2020

Abstract

Women earn less than men who work in the same job with the same level of experience. We know much about this gender wage gap but relatively little about its political or partisan sources. In this article, we examine the effects of party control of state government on gender inequality in income, wages, unemployment, and poverty. Employing both a regression discontinuity design and a dynamic difference-in-difference analysis, we find that electing a Democratic majority to the state house leads to substantial improvement in women’s incomes, wages, and unemployment relative to men – especially in recent years. We also show that greater female representation in office and more liberal policymaking on policies related to women’s rights could be driving that process. We find, however, fewer clear effects on poverty and less robust results for partisan control of the governor’s office or the state senate. Parties and politics matter, but not always.

Keywords: gender, inequality, state government, party control, representation

Suggested Citation

Kuk, John Seungmin and Hajnal, Zoltan L., Democratic Party Control Reduces Gender Inequality (September 25, 2020). Legislative Studies Quarterly, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

John Seungmin Kuk (Contact Author)

University of Oklahoma - Department of Political Science ( email )

455 E. Lindsey St.
405 Dale Hall Tower
Norman, OK 73019
United States

Zoltan L. Hajnal

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Political Science ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Code 0521
La Jolla, CA 92093-0521
United States
858-822-5015 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://polisci.ucsd.edu/faculty/hajnal.htm

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