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Electoral Rules, Women's Representation and the Qualification of Politicians

Profeta, Paola; Woodhouse, Eleanor F; (2022) Electoral Rules, Women's Representation and the Qualification of Politicians. Comparative Political Studies 10.1177/00104140211047414. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Proportional electoral rules are associated with more substantial women’s representation than majoritarian ones. To provide causal evidence that electoral rules affect women’s representation and the qualification of politicians, we collect panel data on the universe of Italian politicians from all levels of government over the period 1987–2013 and analyse an Italian reform which, in 2005, changed the electoral rule for national elections from (mostly) majoritarian to proportional, but did not affect subnational level elections. We find that this reform increased the number of women elected by 5%, while not decreasing the overall qualification levels of politicians, measured by the level of education and political experience. We provide evidence that the highest qualification women are not elected and that the overall qualification of elected politicians could have increased (rather than remain constant) if the best women candidates had been elected.

Type: Article
Title: Electoral Rules, Women's Representation and the Qualification of Politicians
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/00104140211047414
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/00104140211047414
Language: English
Additional information: electoral reforms, women’s political representation, difference-in-differences
Keywords: electoral reforms, women’s political representation, difference-in-differences
UCL classification: 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10143422
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