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Historic sex-ratio imbalances predict female participation in the market for politicians

Iris Grant, Iris Kesternich (), Carina Steckenleiter and Joachim Winter ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, vol. 156, issue C, 144-165

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.

Keywords: Female politicians; Gender stereotypes; Occupational choice; Sex imbalance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 J24 N44 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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