Incumbents' Interests, Voters' Bias and Gender Quotas

CORE Discussion Paper No. 2006/83

46 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2006

See all articles by Guillaume R. Frechette

Guillaume R. Frechette

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

Francois Maniquet

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

The adoption of gender quotas in party lists has been a voluntary decision by many parties in many countries, and is now a subject of discussion in many others. The Parity Low passed in France in 2001 is particularly interesting because for the first time the quota was set at 50 percent, and the deputies passing the reform are elected in single member districts. In this paper we rationalize parity on the basis of the self interest of male incumbent deputies: The existence of a voters' bias in favor of male candidates is sufficient to convince the incumbents to advocate for equal gender representation in party lists, because it raises the incumbents chances of being re-elected. We confirm empirically the existence of male bias in the French electorate and we show that parity law may have Assembly composition effects and policy effects that vary with the electoral system.

Suggested Citation

Frechette, Guillaume R. and Maniquet, Francois and Morelli, Massimo, Incumbents' Interests, Voters' Bias and Gender Quotas (March 2006). CORE Discussion Paper No. 2006/83. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=949153 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.949153

Guillaume R. Frechette (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

19 West Fourth St., 6th floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://files.nyu.edu/gf35/public/html/econ.htm

Francois Maniquet

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

34 Voie du Roman Pays
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, b-1348
Belgium
+32 10 474328 (Phone)
+32 10 474301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.core.ucl.ac.be/staff/maniquetcore.htm

Massimo Morelli

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

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