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The Temporary Importance of Role Models for Women's Political Representation


Gilardi, Fabrizio (2015). The Temporary Importance of Role Models for Women's Political Representation. American Journal of Political Science, 59(4):957-970.

Abstract

This article investigates the supply side of women's political representation by focusing on how the election of female politicians affects the motivation of women to run for office in other units. The analysis relies on an original data set of over 1,500 municipal elections in Switzerland, starting with the first election after the introduction of women's suffrage. In the first election in which women could participate, the election of a woman in a given municipality was associated in the next election with an additional female candidate in 10% of its neighbors. The relationship decreases over time, fades away after 16 years, and is driven primarily by new female candidates in units where no female incumbents are running for reelection. These findings suggest that role models are important for improving women's representation, but only in its early stages. This conclusion could be relevant for understanding the political representation of other underrepresented groups.

Abstract

This article investigates the supply side of women's political representation by focusing on how the election of female politicians affects the motivation of women to run for office in other units. The analysis relies on an original data set of over 1,500 municipal elections in Switzerland, starting with the first election after the introduction of women's suffrage. In the first election in which women could participate, the election of a woman in a given municipality was associated in the next election with an additional female candidate in 10% of its neighbors. The relationship decreases over time, fades away after 16 years, and is driven primarily by new female candidates in units where no female incumbents are running for reelection. These findings suggest that role models are important for improving women's representation, but only in its early stages. This conclusion could be relevant for understanding the political representation of other underrepresented groups.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:October 2015
Deposited On:19 Nov 2015 11:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 19:31
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0092-5853
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12155
Related URLs:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.2015.59.issue-4/issuetoc
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12155/abstract

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