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Gender Quotas and Women’s Political Leadership

Author

Listed:
  • Z. O’Brien, Diana

    () (Department of Political Science at Indiana University)

  • Rickne, Johanna

    () (Uppsala Center for Labor Studies)

Abstract

Though more than 100 countries have adopted gender quotas, the impacts of these reforms on women’s political leadership remain largely unknown. We exploit a quasi-experiment—a zipper quota imposed by the Swedish Social Democratic national party on municipal party groups—to examine quotas’ effect on women’s selection and survival as leaders within their parties. We find that those municipalities where the quota had a larger impact became more likely to appoint female leaders, but not more likely to support the reelection of women to the post. Extending this analysis, we show that the quota increased the number of qualified female candidates without increasing the diversity among women within the group. These results lend support to the notion that quotas may have an acceleration effect on women’s representation in leadership posts and help dispel the myth that quotas trade short-term gains in women’s descriptive representation for long-term exclusion from political power.

Suggested Citation

  • Z. O’Brien, Diana & Rickne, Johanna, 2014. "Gender Quotas and Women’s Political Leadership," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2014:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uulswp:2014_012
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    File URL: http://ucls.nek.uu.se/digitalAssets/297/297202_3201412.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540.
    2. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, September.
    3. Baltrunaite, Audinga & Bello, Piera & Casarico, Alessandra & Profeta, Paola, 2014. "Gender quotas and the quality of politicians," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 62-74.
    4. Galasso, Vincenzo & Nannicini, Tommaso, 2011. "Competing on Good Politicians," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 105(01), pages 79-99, February.
    5. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:8:p:2204-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:88:y:1994:i:03:p:560-576_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Timothy Besley & Olle Folke & Torsten Persson & Johanna Rickne, 2017. "Gender Quotas and the Crisis of the Mediocre Man: Theory and Evidence from Sweden," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2204-2242, August.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:106:y:2012:i:03:p:533-547_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Pamela Campa & Manuel Bagues, "undated". "Can Gender Quotas in Candidate Lists Empower Women? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," Working Papers 2017-06, Department of Economics, University of Calgary.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gender quotas; political leadership; party leaders; political careers; electoral reforms; women and politics; subnational politics;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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