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Incumbents’ Interests, Voters’ Bias and Gender Quotas

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  • Guillaume R., FRECHETTE
  • François, MANIQUET

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)

  • Massimo, MORELLI

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 Law 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 thd 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’ chance 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.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques in its series Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) with number 2006042.

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Length: 48
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvec:2006042

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  1. Massimo Morelli, 2001. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Economics Working Papers 0018, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
  2. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
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Cited by:
  1. Esteve-Volart, Berta & Bagues, Manuel, 2012. "Are women pawns in the political game? Evidence from elections to the Spanish Senate," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 387-399.
  2. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghebendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," Working Paper Series rwp08-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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