Thomas Fujiwara (Princeton), "Party Nominations and Female Electoral Performance: Evidence from Germany." (w/Hanno Hilbig & Pia Raffler)
What accounts for differences in electoral success between male and female candidates? Gender differences in election performance of directly elected candidates may be due to voter discrimination, candidate characteristics, or due to differences in party popularity in the constituencies where female candidates run. We exploit features of the German mixed electoral system and a decomposition strategy to differentiate between these three channels. Using a panel of all candidates for the federal parliament in eleven elections (1983-2021), we document that the relative under-performance of female candidates nominated by the two largest parties can be explained by systematic nomination behavior, which adversely affects female candidates. Moreover, parties' nominations strategies explain most of the gender gaps in electoral performance across all parties and election years. Unlike prior work, we do not find evidence that bias among voters systematically contributes to candidate gender differences in vote shares. Our findings thus highlight parties and not voters as the main drivers of female under-representation, and therefore have important implications for strategies aimed at reducing gender-based discrimination.
Co-sponsored by FAS and IQSS, the Alberto Alesina Seminar on Political Economy supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies.
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