Personality Traits and the Gender Gap in Ideology
What explains the gender gap in ideology, i.e. the observation that women tend to be more leftist than men? We provide new evidence showing that personality traits play a key role. Using a novel high-quality data set, we show that the mediating (i.e. indirect) effects of gender operating through personality traits by far dominate the direct effects of gender. They also dominate other potential differences between the sexes like income or education as explanatory factors. Our findings suggest that women tend to be more leftist than men mainly because they have different personalities, which, in turn, shape their expressed ideology. Taking such mediating effects of personality traits into account explains over three quarters of the observed gender gap in general ideological preferences.
|Date of creation:||15 Aug 2016|
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- Lena Edlund & Laila Haider & Rohini Pande, 2005.
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- Rebecca Morton & Jean-Robert Tyran & Erik Wengström, 2011. "Income and Ideology: How Personality Traits, Cognitive Abilities, and Education Shape Political Attitudes," Discussion Papers 11-08, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
- Lena Edlund & Rohini Pande, 2002. "Why Have Women Become Left-Wing? The Political Gender Gap and the Decline in Marriage," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 917-961. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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