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Historic Sex-Ratio Imbalances Predict Female Participation in the Market for Politicians

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  • Grant, Iris

    (KU Leuven)

  • Kesternich, Iris

    (KU Leuven)

  • Steckenleiter, Carina

    (University of St. Gallen)

  • Winter, Joachim

    (LMU Munich)

Abstract

We analyze the long-term effects of gender imbalances on female labor force participation, in particular in the market for politicians. We exploit variation in sex ratios - the number of men divided by the number of women in a region - across Germany induced by WWII. In the 1990 elections, women were more likely to run for office in constituencies that had relatively fewer men in 1946. We do not find a significant effect of the sex ratio on the likelihood of a woman winning the election. These results suggest that while women were more likely to run for a seat in parliament in constituencies with lower historical sex ratios, voters were not more inclined to vote for them. Voter demand effects thus do not appear to be as strong as candidate supply effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Grant, Iris & Kesternich, Iris & Steckenleiter, Carina & Winter, Joachim, 2018. "Historic Sex-Ratio Imbalances Predict Female Participation in the Market for Politicians," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 113, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
  • Handle: RePEc:rco:dpaper:113
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    1. Kesternich, Iris & Siflinger, Bettina & Smith, James P. & Steckenleiter, Carina, 2020. "Unbalanced sex ratios in Germany caused by World War II and their effect on fertility: A life cycle perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    female politicians; gender stereotypes; occupational choice; sex imbalance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-

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