Men, Women, and the Ballot Woman Suffrage in the United States
AbstractWoman suffrage led to the greatest enfranchisement in the history of the United States. Before World War I, however, suffrage states remained almost exclusively confined to the American West. The reasons for this pioneering role of the West are still unclear. Studying the timing of woman suffrage adoption at state level, we find that states in which women were scarce (the West) enfranchised their women much earlier than states in which the sex ratio was more balanced (the rest of the country). High sex ratios in the West, that is high ratios of grantors to grantees, reduced the political costs and risks to male electorates and legislators of extending the franchise. They are also likely to have enhanced female bargaining power and may have made woman suffrage more attractive in the eyes of western legislators that sought to attract more women to their states. Our finding of a reduced-form inverse relationship between the relative size of a group and its success in securing the ballot may be of use also for the study of other franchise extensions and for inquieries into the dynamics of political power sharing more generally.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2009-016.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Woman Suffrage; Democratization; Political Economy; Sex Ratio;
Other versions of this item:
- Sebastian Braun & Michael Kvasnicka, 2009. "Men,Women, and the Ballot – Woman Suffrage in the United States," Ruhr Economic Papers 0093, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
- 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
- K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
- N41 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N42 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-04-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2009-04-18 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-POL-2009-04-18 (Positive Political Economics)
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