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Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?

Author

Listed:
  • Sonia Bhalotra

    () (University of Essex)

  • Irma Clots-Figueras

    () (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

  • Lakshmi Iyer

    () (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)

Abstract

We investigate whether the event of a woman being competitively elected as a state legislator encourages the subsequent political participation of women, using a regression discontinuity design on constituency level data from India. We find that female incumbents are more likely than male incumbents to re-contest and that there is a decline in the entry of new women candidates. This decline is most pronounced in states with entrenched gender bias and in male-headed parties, suggesting an intensification of barriers against women in these areas. Similar results for (mostly male) Muslim candidates indicate the presence of institutionalized demand-side barriers rather than gender-specific preferences and constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-035, Harvard Business School, revised Jan 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:14-035
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras, 2014. "Health and the Political Agency of Women," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 164-197, May.
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:esx:essedp:739 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Nishith Prakash & Marc Rockmore & Yogesh Uppal, 2014. "Do Criminally Accused Politicians Affect Economic Outcomes? Evidence from India," HiCN Working Papers 192, Households in Conflict Network.
    5. Victoire Girard, 2016. "Mandated political representation and crimes against the low castes," WIDER Working Paper Series 074, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. repec:liu:liucej:v:15:y:2018:i:1:p:37-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Nishith Prakash & Marc Rockmore, 2014. "Do Criminal Representatives Hinder or Improve Constituency Outcomes? Evidence from India," Working papers 2014-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    8. Girard, Victoire, 2018. "Don’t Touch My Road. Evidence from India on Affirmative Action And Everyday Discrimination," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-13.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political participation; women; candidates; gender bias; backlash; minority representation; regression discontinuity; India;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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