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Gender Differences in Cooperative Environments? Evidence from the U.S. Congress

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  • Gagliarducci, Stefano

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Paserman, M. Daniele

    () (Boston University)

Abstract

This paper uses data on bill sponsorship and cosponsorship in the U.S. House of Representatives to estimate gender differences in cooperative behavior. We employ a number of econometric methodologies to address the potential selection of female representatives into electoral districts with distinct preferences for cooperativeness, including regression discontinuity and matching. After accounting for selection, we find that among Democrats there is no significant gender gap in the number of cosponsors recruited, but women-sponsored bills tend to have fewer cosponsors from the opposite party. On the other hand, we find robust evidence that Republican women recruit more cosponsors and attract more bipartisan support on the bills that they sponsor. This is particularly true on bills that address issues more relevant for women, over which female Republicans have possibly preferences that are closer to those of Democrats. We interpret these results as evidence that cooperation is mostly driven by a commonality of interest, rather than gender per se.

Suggested Citation

  • Gagliarducci, Stefano & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2016. "Gender Differences in Cooperative Environments? Evidence from the U.S. Congress," IZA Discussion Papers 10128, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Booth, Alison & Nolen, Patrick, 2012. "Choosing to compete: How different are girls and boys?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 542-555.
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    5. Patricia Funk & Christina Gathmann, 2015. "Gender gaps in policy making: evidence from direct democracy in Switzerland," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 30(81), pages 141-181.
    6. 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.
    7. Paserman, M. Daniele, 2007. "Gender Differences in Performance in Competitive Environments: Evidence from Professional Tennis Players," IZA Discussion Papers 2834, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Victor Lavy, 2013. "Gender Differences in Market Competitiveness in a Real Workplace: Evidence from Performance‐based Pay Tournaments among Teachers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(569), pages 540-573, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    U.S. Congress; cooperativeness; bipartisanship; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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