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The Effects of Female Leadership on Women’s Voice in Political Debate

Blumenau, J; (2019) The Effects of Female Leadership on Women’s Voice in Political Debate. British Journal of Political Science 10.1017/S0007123419000334. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Do female leaders amplify the voices of other women in politics? I address this question by examining parliamentary debates in the UK House of Commons. In the context of a difference-in-differences design which makes use of over-time variation in the gender of cabinet ministers, I demonstrate that female ministers substantially increase the participation of other female MPs in relevant debates, compared to when the minister is male. Further, using a measure of debate influence based on the degree to which words used by one legislator are adopted by other members, I show that female ministers also increase the influence of female backbenchers. To explore the mechanisms behind these results, I introduce a new metric of ministerial responsiveness and show that female ministers are significantly more responsive to the speeches of female backbenchers than are male ministers.

Type: Article
Title: The Effects of Female Leadership on Women’s Voice in Political Debate
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0007123419000334
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123419000334
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: legislative politics; gender; women; text-as-data; debate
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10074056
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