Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1233: Gender and Dynastic Political Recruitment

Olle Folke (), Johanna Rickne () and Daniel M. Smith ()
Additional contact information
Olle Folke: Department of Government, Postal: Uppsala University
Johanna Rickne: SOFI, Stockholm University, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Daniel M. Smith: Department of Government, Postal: Harvard University

Abstract: Throughout history and across countries, women appear more likely than men to enter politics at the heels of a close relative or spouse. We provide a theoretical explanation for this dynastic bias in gender representation that integrates political selection with informational inequalities across social groups. Legislator-level data from twelve democracies and candidate-level data from Ireland and Sweden support the idea that dynastic ties help women overcome a vote disadvantage in elections, and that the quality of predecessors may be more relevant in the recruitment of female successors than their male counterparts. Moreover, the role of informational inequalities in explaining the dynastic bias in gender representation is empirically supported by a declining gap over time, and following the introduction of a gender quota in Sweden.

Keywords: Dynasties; Gender representation; Gender quota; Sweden; Ireland

JEL-codes: D72

50 pages, September 17, 2018

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