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

Listed author(s):
  • 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)

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.

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Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 14-035.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision: Jan 2016
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:14-035
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