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Women and Power: Unpopular, Unwilling, or Held Back?

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Listed:
  • Pablo Casas-Arce
  • Albert Saiz

Abstract

We use Spain's Equality Law to test for the existence of agency problems between party leaders and their constituents. The law mandates a 40 percent female quota on electoral lists in towns with populations above 5,000. Using pre- and postquota data by party and municipality, we implement a triple-difference design. We find that female quotas resulted in slightly better electoral results for the parties that were most affected by the quota. Our evidence shows that party leaders were not maximizing electoral results prior to the quota, suggesting the existence of agency problems that hinder female representation in political institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Casas-Arce & Albert Saiz, 2015. "Women and Power: Unpopular, Unwilling, or Held Back?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(3), pages 641-669.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/680686
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Thomas Barrios & Rebecca Diamond & Guido W. Imbens & Michal Kolesár, 2012. "Clustering, Spatial Correlations, and Randomization Inference," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(498), pages 578-591, June.
    3. Manuel F. Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2010. "Can Gender Parity Break the Glass Ceiling? Evidence from a Repeated Randomized Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1301-1328.
    4. repec:wly:amposc:v:48:y:2004:i:2:p:264-280 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Menezes, Aline, 2017. "Do some electoral systems select better politicians than others? Single- vs dual-ballot elections," MPRA Paper 79370, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:88-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fiorenza Venturini, 2018. "The Unintended Composition Effect of the Subnational Government Fiscal Rules: The Case of Italian Municipalities," Working papers 70, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    4. Baskaran Thushyanthan & Bhalotra Sonia & Min Brian & Uppal Yogesh, 2018. "Women legislators and economic performance," WIDER Working Paper Series 47, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:79-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jean-Benoît Eymeoud & Paul Vertier, 2018. "Gender Biases: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in French Local Elections," Sciences Po publications 78, Sciences Po.
    7. Atsuko Tanaka & Hsuan-Chih (Luke) Lin & Ha Nguyen, "undated". "Removing Disability Insurance Coverage: The Effects on Work Incentive and Occupation Choice," Working Papers 2016-37, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, revised 10 Jul 2016.
    8. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:335:p:454-479 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Grant, Iris & Kesternich, Iris & Steckenleiter, Carina & Winter, Joachim, 2018. "Historic sex-ratio imbalances predict female participation in the market for politicians," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 144-165.
    10. Paola Profeta & Eleanor Woodhouse, 2018. "Do Electoral Rules Matter for Female Representation?," CESifo Working Paper Series 7101, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Paulo Júlio & José Tavares, 2017. "The Good, the Bad and the Different: Can Gender Quotas Raise the Quality of Politicians?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(335), pages 454-479, July.
    12. Gangadharan, Lata & Jain, Tarun & Maitra, Pushkar & Vecci, Joseph, 2016. "Social identity and governance: The behavioral response to female leaders," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 302-325.
    13. repec:eee:pubeco:v:154:y:2017:i:c:p:49-66 is not listed on IDEAS

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