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Political representation and the evolution of group differences within parties: Evidence from 110 years of parliamentary speech

Author

Listed:
  • Jeremias Nieminen

    (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku.)

  • Salla Simola

    (Storytel)

  • Janne Tukiainen

    (Department of Economics, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku.)

Abstract

We study the long-term evolution of party demographics and the associated changes in parliamentary speech patterns of various within-party groups in Finland during 1907-2018. We find significant speech differences by gender and university education status, while other MP characteristics - age, white-collar job, first-term MP status, or urbanicity - do not predict speech patterns. We find that when female seat share began to rise in the late 1950s, there is a concurrent increase in speech differences by gender. As the representation of women increased, there was also a shift in speech topics female MPs specialized in. Additionally, we observe a sharp increase in speech differences by education when the seat share of university-educated increased in the 1960s. These results suggest that descriptive representation of these groups may play a role in changing speech patterns, and thus, in their substantive representation.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremias Nieminen & Salla Simola & Janne Tukiainen, 2023. "Political representation and the evolution of group differences within parties: Evidence from 110 years of parliamentary speech," Discussion Papers 161, Aboa Centre for Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tkk:dpaper:dp161
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hessami, Zohal & da Fonseca, Mariana Lopes, 2020. "Female political representation and substantive effects on policies: A literature review," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    2. Jacob Jensen & Ethan Kaplan & Suresh Naidu & Laurence Wilse-Samson, 2012. "Political Polarization and the Dynamics of Political Language: Evidence from 130 Years of Partisan Speech," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 45(2 (Fall)), pages 1-81.
    3. 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.
    4. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro & Matt Taddy, 2019. "Measuring Group Differences in High‐Dimensional Choices: Method and Application to Congressional Speech," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1307-1340, July.
    5. Hargrave, Lotte & Blumenau, Jack, 2022. "No Longer Conforming to Stereotypes? Gender, Political Style and Parliamentary Debate in the UK," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 1584-1601, October.
    6. Jacob Jensen & Ethan Kaplan & Suresh Naidu & Laurence Wilse-Samson, 2012. "Political Polarization and the Dynamics of Political Language: Evidence from 130 Years of Partisan Speech," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 1-81.
    7. Peterson, Andrew & Spirling, Arthur, 2018. "Classification Accuracy as a Substantive Quantity of Interest: Measuring Polarization in Westminster Systems," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 120-128, January.
    8. Salla Simola & Jeremias Nieminen & Janne Tukiainen, 2023. "A century of partisanship in Finnish political speech," Discussion Papers 160, Aboa Centre for Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intra-party politics; parliamentary speech; descriptive representation; substantive representation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • P00 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - General - - - General

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