Do Female Representatives Adhere More Closely to Citizensâ€™ Preferences Than Male Representatives?
We analyze whether female or male members of parliament adhere more closely to citizensâ€™ revealed preferences with quasi-experimental data. By matching individual representativesâ€™ voting behavior on legislative proposals with real referenda outcomes on the same issues, we identify the effect of gender on representativesâ€™ responsiveness to revealed preferences of the majority of voters. Overall, female members of parliament tend to adhere less to citizensâ€™ preferences than male parliamentarians. However, when party affiliation is controlled for, the effect of gender vanishes. These results are consistent with other evidence showing that women are more socially minded and tend to affiliate themselves more with left parties.
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