Does the Election of a Female Leader Clear the Way for More Women in Politics?
- American Economic Journal: Economic Policy (Forthcoming)
Women remain underrepresented in politics and it remains unclear how this might change. In this paper, we investigate whether female council candidates receive more preferential votes when a female mayor has been recently elected into office. We hand-collect data for 109,017 candidates in four open-list local council elections (2001-2016) in all 426 municipalities of a German state. Based on RDD estimations for close mixed-gender races, we show that female council candidates advance more from their initial list rank when the mayor is female. This effect spreads to neighboring municipalities and leads to a rising share of female council members.
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