Do Gender Quotas Influence Women's Representation and Policies?

By Chen, Li-Ju | The European Journal of Comparative Economics, June 2010 | Go to article overview

Do Gender Quotas Influence Women's Representation and Policies?


Chen, Li-Ju, The European Journal of Comparative Economics


1. Introduction

An increasing number of countries are currently introducing various types of gender quotas in public elections to reach a gender balance in political institutions. Most developing countries introduced electoral gender quotas during the 1990s, mainly due to the influence of the UN Conference on Women held in Beijing. (2) On the other hand, most developed countries adopted gender quotas 10 or 15 years prior to the Conference. A dramatic change has taken place in the established rank order of countries regarding the level of women's political representation. The five Nordic countries, which for many years were almost alone at the top of the list, are now being challenged by amazingly fast development in a number of countries around the globe. For example, Rwanda superseded Sweden as number one in the world in terms of women's parliamentary representation--48.8% women against Sweden's 45.3% in 2003, and has more than 50% of seats for female legislators since 2008.

The core idea behind the gender quota systems is to recruit women into political positions and to ensure that women are not isolated in political life. The evidence suggests that women tend to have systematically different preferences for household spending. The incorporation of women's concerns in decision-making would, thereby, improve the nature of the public sphere. In addition, women's representation can also have an indirect influence by increasing men's attention to policies concerning women and children. (3) Quota systems therefore aim at ensuring that women constitute a certain number or percentage of the members of a body, whether it is a candidate list, a parliamentary assembly, a committee, or a government.

Theoretically, if the candidates do not commit to implement specific policies once elected, the identity of the legislator matters for policy determination (Besley and Coate, 1997, and Osborne and Slivinski, 1996). This influence on policy increases as there is increasing political representation of a group. Therefore, if gender quota systems lead to a pronounced increase in women's representation in politics, we should observe that government gives higher weights to policy outcomes related to women's concerns after introducing a gender quota system.

However, existing empirical studies focus on the effect of political reservations on policy outcomes in the case of an individual country. (4) Do quotas work as well in general? Some countries take gender quotas as a symbolic policy to reflect the demand for gender equality without making related changes in institutions. The use of quotas is thereby not sufficient to ensure high levels of women in parliament. (5) On the other hand, a high level of representation might be achieved without quotas, such as that achieved in Nordic countries. I therefore first investigate the effect of quotas on the representation of women in parliament. Taking the introduction of quotas as an exogenous source of variation, I can thereby compare women's representation before and after the policy is applied.

I then examine government spending on different functions before and after the introduction of quotas to check whether political reservations have increased expenditures on groups that should benefit from the mandate. Under the assumption that gender quotas have neither a direct impact on policy outcomes nor an influence on policy outcomes through channels other than the proportion of female legislators, I use gender quotas as an instrument for female legislators and study the effect of female legislators on policy outcomes.

The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. Section 2 provides the background of women's preference and gender quota systems adopted around the world. Section 3 discusses the empirical strategy and data collection. Section 4 presents the results of the analysis. Section 5 provides robustness checks and section 6 concludes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Do Gender Quotas Influence Women's Representation and Policies?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.