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Female representation but male rule? Party competition and the political glass ceiling

  • Folke, Olle

    ()

    (Columbia University)

  • Rickne, Johanna

    ()

    (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

The share of women in legislative assemblies has grown substantially, but there is still under-representation and it is more severe for more influential appointments. This pattern is mirrored in Swedish municipalities, for which we analyze panel data on the career developments of all 35.000 elected politicians over six election cycles to examine why women fail to rise in the political hierarchy. We show that women have a higher turnover rate which keeps them from accumulating the seniority required to (ever) catch up with their male colleagues. In our analysis, we can rule out that less political experience, lower age, or different responses to changes in family structure are the major contributors to women’s disadvantage. Instead, we find that competition between political parties substantially improves women’s relative performance. We interpret this as evidence for a negative bias against women in the recruitment process being a major contributor to women’s high turnover rate.

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File URL: http://www.ucls.nek.uu.se/digitalAssets/136/136564_20129.pdf
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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies with number 2012:9.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 24 Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2012_009
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. M. Daniele Paserman & Stefano Gagliarducci, 2011. "Gender Interactions within Hierarchies: Evidence from the Political Arena," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-048, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Svaleryd, Helena, 2009. "Women's representation and public spending," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 186-198, June.
  3. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Anders Poulsen & Marie Claire Villeval, 2005. "Male and Female Competitive Behavior - Experimental Evidence," Post-Print halshs-00180022, HAL.
  4. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2007. "Are female leaders good for education? : Evidence from India," UC3M Working papers. Economics we077342, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  5. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
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  8. Alberto Alesina & Nouriel Roubini & Gerald D. Cohen, 1997. "Political Cycles and the Macroeconomy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510944.
  9. Per Pettersson-Lidbom, 2008. "Do Parties Matter for Economic Outcomes? A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(5), pages 1037-1056, 09.
  10. Berta Esteve-Volart & Manuel F. Bagües, 2009. "Are Women Pawns in the Political Game? Evidence from Elections to the Spanish Senate," Working Papers 2009-30, FEDEA.
  11. Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2009. "Competing on Good Politicians," CEPR Discussion Papers 7363, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Svaleryd, Helena & Vlachos, Jonas, 2009. "Political rents in a non-corrupt democracy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 355-372, April.
  13. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
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