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Are women pawns in the political game? Evidence from elections to the Spanish Senate

  • Esteve-Volart, Berta
  • Bagues, Manuel

This paper investigates the reasons behind the low representation of women among legislators. Using data from Spain, we find that parties tend to nominate female candidates to poorer positions on the ballot. We examine whether this is due to voter bias or party bias, and find two pieces of evidence supporting the latter: female candidates attract more votes, and political competition improves the quality of positions to which female candidates are assigned. Moreover, gender quotas fail to erode the strategic nomination of female candidates. The evidence in this paper helps explain why quotas in candidate lists might often lead to disappointing increases in the number of elected female politicians.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 387-399

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:3:p:387-399
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. 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.
  2. Frederico Finan & Claudio Ferraz, 2009. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," Working Papers id:1889, eSocialSciences.
  3. Gagliarducci, Stefano & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2009. "Do Better Paid Politicians Perform Better? Disentangling Incentives from Selection," IZA Discussion Papers 4400, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
  5. Shue, Kelly & Luttmer, Erzo F.P., 2006. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 2451, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Liran Einav & Leeat Yariv, 2006. "What's in a Surname? The Effects of Surname Initials on Academic Success," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 175-187, Winter.
  7. Guillaume R., FRECHETTE & François, MANIQUET & Massimo, MORELLI, 2006. "Incumbents’ Interests, Voters’ Bias and Gender Quotas," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006042, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  8. Amy King & Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Are Ballot Order Effects Heterogeneous?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(1), pages 71-87.
  9. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & Lombardo, Rosetta, 2010. "Can gender quotas break down negative stereotypes? Evidence from changes in electoral rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 344-353, June.
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