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Incumbents' interests and gender quotas


  • FRECHETTE, Guillaume R.
  • MANIQUET, François
  • MORELLI, Massimo


The introduction of mandatory gender quotas in party lists is a reform that many countries have recently adopted or have been considering. The electoral system affects the incumbents' incentives to make such reforms, their details, and their effectiveness. We show that male incumbents can actually expect an increased incumbency advantage when gender quotas are introduced, if they are elected through single‐member district majority rule. On the other hand, no expectation of male advantage can reduce the incumbents' fear of being replaced if they are elected through closed‐list proportional representation. As France has both electoral systems, we validate the above argument using a formal model of constitutional design as well as an empirical analysis of the legislative elections in France, displaying the existence of male bias in the last three elections. We also show that parity may have Assembly composition effects and policy effects that vary with the electoral system.
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  • FRECHETTE, Guillaume R. & MANIQUET, François & MORELLI, Massimo, 2009. "Incumbents' interests and gender quotas," CORE Discussion Papers RP 2165, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2165
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00349.x
    Note: In : American Journal of Political Science, 52(4), 891-907, 2008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Massimo Morelli, 2004. "Party Formation and Policy Outcomes under Different Electoral Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 829-853.
    2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hessami, Zohal & Lopes da Fonseca, Mariana, 2020. "Female Political Representation and Substantive Effects on Policies: A Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 13125, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "A political agency model of coattail voting," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1652-1660.
    3. 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.
    4. Zudenkova, Galina, 2012. "A rationale for intra-party democracy," MPRA Paper 39091, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Nagarajan, Hari K. & Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2011. "Can political reservations affect political equilibria in the long-term? Evidence from local elections in rural India," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 59, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Joaquín Galeno & Francisco Gallego & Felipe González, 2019. "¿Candidatas o espectadoras? Un análisis del impacto de la ley de cuotas," Estudios Públicos, Centro de Estudios Públicos, vol. 0(154), pages 7-41.
    7. Zudenkova, Galina, 2011. "A Model of Party Discipline in a Congress," MPRA Paper 29890, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Lassébie, Julie, 2020. "Gender quotas and the selection of local politicians: Evidence from French municipal elections," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).

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