IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/spo/wpmain/infohdl2441-3k0m7r593p8gs9njjtpupmlknu.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gender Biases: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in French Local Elections

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-Benoît Eymeoud

    (Département d'économie)

  • Paul Vertier

    (Département d'économie)

Abstract

Women are under-represented in politics. In this paper, we test one of the potential explanations for this situation: gender-bias from voters. We use a natural experiment during French local elections in 2015: for the first time in this country, candidates had to run by pairs, which had to be gender-balanced. We argue that this reform confused some voters, who mighthave assumedthat the firstname on theballot representedthe "main" candidate. Since the order of the candidates on the ballot was determined by alphabetical order, the order of appearance of male and female candidates is as-good-as-random, and this setting allows us to isolate gender biases from selection effects. Our main result is that there exists a negative gender bias affecting right-wing candidates, who receive about 1.5 points lower shares of vote when the female candidate appears first on the ballot. The missing votes prevented some pairs of candidates from being elected. Using the fact that the candidates can (but do not have to) report additional information about themselves on the ballot, we show that this discrimination is likely to be statistical, since the most affected women are those running in pairs which do not report any information.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Benoît Eymeoud & Paul Vertier, 2018. "Gender Biases: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in French Local Elections," Sciences Po publications 78, Sciences Po.
  • Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/3k0m7r593p8gs9njjtpupmlknu
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://spire.sciencespo.fr/hdl:/2441/3k0m7r593p8gs9njjtpupmlknu/resources/wp-78-eymeoud-vertier.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Kelly Shue & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2009. "Who Misvotes? The Effect of Differential Cognition Costs on Election Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 229-257, February.
    3. Brollo, Fernanda & Troiano, Ugo, 2016. "What happens when a woman wins an election? Evidence from close races in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 28-45.
    4. Ferreira, Fernando & Gyourko, Joseph, 2014. "Does gender matter for political leadership? The case of U.S. mayors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 24-39.
    5. Alberto F. Alesina & Ugo Troiano & Traviss Cassidy, 2015. "Old and Young Politicians," NBER Working Papers 20977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:01:p:23-35_09 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vojtěch Bartoš & Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilová & Filip Matějka, 2016. "Attention Discrimination: Theory and Field Experiments with Monitoring Information Acquisition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(6), pages 1437-1475, June.
    8. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    9. Ho, Daniel E. & Imai, Kosuke, 2006. "Randomization Inference With Natural Experiments: An Analysis of Ballot Effects in the 2003 California Recall Election," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 101, pages 888-900, September.
    10. Ferraz, Claudio & Finan, Frederico S., 2008. "Motivating Politicians: The Impacts of Monetary Incentives on Quality and Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3411, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. 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.
    12. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:335:p:454-479 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo & Lombardo, Rosetta, 2010. "Can gender quotas break down negative stereotypes? Evidence from changes in electoral rules," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(5-6), pages 344-353, June.
    14. Esteve-Volart, Berta & Bagues, Manuel, 2012. "Are women pawns in the political game? Evidence from elections to the Spanish Senate," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 387-399.
    15. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    16. Pablo Casas-Arce & Albert Saiz, 2015. "Women and Power: Unpopular, Unwilling, or Held Back?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(3), pages 641-669.
    17. Milyo, Jeffrey & Schosberg, Samantha, 2000. "Gender Bias and Selection Bias in House Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 105(1-2), pages 41-59, October.
    18. 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.
    19. Herbert A. Simon, 1955. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 99-118.
    20. Morgane Laouénan & Roland Rathelot, 2017. "Ethnic Discrimination on an Online Marketplace of Vacation Rental," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-01514713, HAL.
    21. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    22. Timothy Besley & Jose G. Montalvo & Marta Reynal‐Querol, 2011. "Do Educated Leaders Matter?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(554), pages 205-205, August.
    23. Gianmarco Daniele & Paul Vertier, 2016. "Dynasties and the Political Budget Cycle," CESifo Working Paper Series 6231, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. repec:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:4:p:1877-1914. is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Francisco Pino, 2014. "Is There Gender Bias Among Voters ?Evidence from the Chilean Congressional Elections," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-53, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    26. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:8:p:2204-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Paulo Júlio & José Tavares, 2017. "The Good, the Bad and the Different: Can Gender Quotas Raise the Quality of Politicians?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(335), pages 454-479, July.
    28. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Jonathan Guryan, 2008. "Prejudice and Wages: An Empirical Assessment of Becker's The Economics of Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(5), pages 773-809, October.
    29. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    30. Ernesto Dal Bó & Frederico Finan & Olle Folke & Torsten Persson & Johanna Rickne, 2017. "Who Becomes A Politician?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1877-1914.
    31. 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.
    32. Broockman, David & Soltas, Evan J., 2018. "A Natural Experiment on Taste-Based Racial and Ethnic Discrimination in Elections," Research Papers 3499, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political Economy; Gender Discrimination; Voting Behavior;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/3k0m7r593p8gs9njjtpupmlknu. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Spire @ Sciences Po Library). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ecspofr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.