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

Author

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  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    (University of Warwick)

  • Clots-Figueras, Irma

    (University of Kent)

  • Iyer, Lakshmi

    (University of Notre Dame)

Abstract

This paper analyzes the effect of a woman's electoral victory on women's subsequent political participation. Using the regression discontinuity afforded by close elections between women and men in India's state elections, we find that a woman winning office leads to a large and significant increase in the share of female candidates from major political parties in the subsequent election. This stems mainly from an increased probability that previous women candidates contest again, an important margin in India where a substantial number of incumbents do not contest re-election. There is no significant entry of new female candidates, no change in female or male voter turnout and no spillover effects to neighboring areas. Further analysis points to a reduction in party bias against women candidates as the main mechanism driving the observed increase in women's candidacy.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," IZA Discussion Papers 7771, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7771
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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. 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.
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    4. Prakash, Nishith & Rockmore, Marc & Uppal, Yogesh, 2019. "Do criminally accused politicians affect economic outcomes? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    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. Jekaterina Kuliomina, 2018. "Does Election of an Additional Female Councilor Increase Women's Candidacy in the Future?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 15(1), pages 37-81, June.
    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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    candidacy; India; gender; politics;
    All these keywords.

    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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