Bias at the Ballot Box? Testing Whether Candidates' Gender Affects Their Vote
AbstractUsing data from all elections to the Australian House of Representatives between 1903 and 2004, we examine the relationship between candidates’ gender and their share of the vote. We find that the vote share of female candidates is 0.6 percentage points smaller than that of male candidates (for major parties, the gap widens to 1½ percentage points), but find little evidence that the party preselection system is responsible for the voting bias against women. Over time, the gap between male and female candidates has shrunk considerably as a result of changes in social norms (as proxied by the gender pay gap and attitudinal data) and the share of female candidates running nationwide. We find little evidence that party-based affirmative action policies have reduced the gender penalty against female candidates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 625.
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
economics of gender; elections; voting behaviour;
Other versions of this item:
- Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "Bias at the Ballot Box? Testing Whether Candidates' Gender Affects Their Vote," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(2), pages 324-343.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-12-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2009-12-19 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-POL-2009-12-19 (Positive Political Economics)
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