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Why women don't run: Experimental evidence on gender differences in political competition aversion

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Abstract

Women's underrepresentation in leadership positions has been well documented, but the reasons behind it are not well understood. We carry out a field experiment to test a prominent theory about the source of the gender gap in leadership ambition: women's higher aversion to competitive environments. Using politics as a context for our study, we employ two distinct subject pools - highly politically active individuals and workers from an online labor market. We find that priming individuals to consider the competitive nature of politics has a strong negative effect on women's interest in political office, but not on men's interest, hence significantly increasing the gender gap in leadership ambition.

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... This definition is still working as the most common cited definition among marketing authors, it refers to three contemporary aspects [4]. First, the product concept was evolved to include even individuals, countries, ideas and anything presenting to others, not only goods and services [63]. Second, the importance of marketing has become required clearly for any type of organizations; governmental, international, non-profit or any of the other types, not only for profit organizations [35]. ...
... Therefore, the applications of marketing were expanded to cover every side of the life. Now, it is common to find studies in marketing applied to multi areas including business [11], non-profit activities, politics [63], religion [35] and all other fields. The recent concept of modern marketing can be briefly expressed as "acceptance gaining". ...
... More care about ethical decisions Germany/ Italia/Japan * More Impacted by national culture * More Impacted by universal culture * [13] Higher job expectations China * [40] Higher job satisfaction EU * [96] Life satisfaction General * [36] Optimism in regarding abroad range of issues 18 countries * [47] Commercial experiments on social Networks Sites China * [14] General * [46] More online shopping/buy General * [69] USA * [45] Canada * [65] Brain activity toward online work General * [28] More Care about the right side of online advertise USA * More Care about the left side of online advertise * [99] Shopping motivations for fashion/adventure/value Taiwan * Shopping motivations for cost saving/convenience * [35] Positive effect by Social influences South Korea * [97] Australia * [29] General * [42] more impacted by sexual words in advertisement Australia/New Zealand * [51] Focus on emotions and interaction Australia * Focus on outcome-oriented and functional * [37] More care about profit maximize General * [98] More care about increase of productivity General * [60] Preference more interventionism by government Poland * [63] Competitiveness in politics USA * [44] Higher in Equity sensitivity General * [73] Customer oriented General * [54] Quality oriented UK * [52] Decision to Coauthor in research publish General * [53] More quality and quantity of researches USA * [12] Give higher offer in contracting General * [74] Give higher offer for women in contracting General * Give higher offer for men in contracting * [16] Higher performance in selling of stock General * Give higher prices in selling of stock * [34] More Focus on Prices in selling General * More focus on satisfaction and good relations * ...
... 1 Indeed, research continues to find that voters hold and employ gender stereotypes when evaluating candidates (Bauer 2015; Ditonto 2017; Schneider and Bos 2014). Moreover, the process of candidate emergence is gendered (Fulton et al. 2006;Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015). Motivated by these observations, this article investigates whether women win when they run because women disproportionately run for office where they will win. ...
... Shifting the unit of analysis from the individual to the congressional district uncovers important implications for our understanding of candidate emergence and electoral success. Research on the emergence of women candidates tends to compare women's behavior to men's behavior (Fulton 2012;Fulton et al. 2006;Lawless and Fox 2010) and focuses on psychological factors that structure women's political ambitions (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015;Schneider et al. 2016). By examining broader contextual factors, this article demonstrates that the individual-level focus is insufficient to understand the multiple ways gender shapes electoral behavior. ...
... However, these findings do not mean that gender does not influence the electoral process (Dittmar 2015). Extensive research demonstrates that gender influences women's decisions to run for office (Bernhard, Shames, and Teele 2021;Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015;Schneider et al. 2016). I argue that candidate emergence and election outcomes are not independent; rather, where women emerge as a candidate will depend on the likelihood that a woman could win in that location. ...
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Despite evidence that women win when they run for office, the number of women in the US House of Representatives has not increased substantially. I argue that women win when they run because women engage in strategic behavior by emerging in locations where they are most likely to win. While strategic behavior is a necessary condition for increasing women's representation in office, it is not a sufficient condition. Analyzing regularly scheduled elections between 1992 and 2014, I demonstrate that women engage in strategic behavior by emerging in elections where they are most likely to win. However, the electoral opportunities for women are far from “gender neutral” and are shaped by the parties. Democratic and Republican women are most likely to emerge as candidates in districts where they are likely to win the primary and general elections; however, Republican women face even more constrained electoral opportunities.
... Frequent elections are intended to give constituents the ability to check these more unscrupulous dispositions by replacing poor representatives. However, those possessing more desirable traits may not enter the pool of potential challengers, as the electoral process may deter candidates who are opposed to the dishonesty and conflict that competition may introduce (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015). Building on these works, we argue that one such group of people -those high in empathic concern -are disproportionately deterred by elections. ...
... Though analyses of targeted samples offer invaluable insights (e.g. Maestas et al. 2006;Lawless 2011), we choose to follow the subset of works using broader adult samples (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015;Schneider et al. 2016;Dynes, Hassell, and Miles 2019), as this approach is more appropriate for the question at hand. An initial attraction to running for office -or nascent ambition (Fox and Lawless 2005) -is a necessary precursor to taking any steps toward entering the political arena. ...
... Of course, completely removing elections from the political process is unrealistic. But by revealing election aversion, we add to works (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015;Clifford, Kirkland, and Simas 2019) suggesting that more feasible reforms (e.g. increased factchecking; pledges against negative campaigning) to the process can still stimulate nascent ambition in a manner similar to that observed here. ...
Article
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Political candidates must possess not only a desire for a position in government, but also a tolerance for the electoral process typically required to attain it. Recent works suggest that this latter requirement may keep certain types of people out of the potential candidate pool. We contend that individuals high in empathic concern are one such type. While compassion for others may make certain aspects of public service attractive, it should also make some of the more negative features of political campaigns repellant. We find support for this theory among two national samples. Those higher in empathic concern were more likely to express nascent ambition when considering a political position that was appointed rather than elected. This work further illustrates how exploring the interaction of psychological dispositions and political institutions can contribute to our understanding of the behavior of politicians and the quality of representation.
... Following recent work on nascent ambition (Dynes et al., 2019;Kanthak & Woon, 2015;Preece & Stoddard, 2015;Schneider et al., 2016;Simas et al., 2019), we focus our analysis on the general population. 6 We opt for this approach because our interest is in how perceptions of ideological congruence with the party impacts the composition of the entire potential candidate pool. ...
... To have a well-developed understanding of these concepts requires a similar understanding of who self-selects into the electoral arena. Studies have long recognized this (Lasswell, 1948;Schlesinger, 1966), and over the years, the collective literature has offered compelling explanations for why potential candidates might seek office (Conroy & Green, 2020;Krebs, 1999;Maisel & Stone, 1997, 2014, why young people are turned off from politics (Lawless & Fox, 2015), or why women are less likely to seek political office (Fox & Lawless, 2014;Fulton et al., 2006;Kanthak & Woon, 2015;Preece & Stoddard, 2015;Thomsen & King, 2020). We add to these works by exploring how one's perceived ideological distance from their own party impacts the development of their desire to eventually seek office. ...
Article
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Recent elections reveal a rise in first-time candidates. Building on prior works on nascent political ambition, we examine how ideological incongruence with one’s party relates to the initial development of interest in running for office. We advance the theory that individuals will be more motivated to run when they view their party as failing to represent their preferred position. Using two nationally representative surveys, we find support for this hypothesis, as we show that people are more likely to develop political ambition when they perceive themselves as ideologically distant from their party. Finally, using a panel study, we show that ideological distance predicts running for office for the first time. Our findings further highlight how the factors that contribute to the initial formation of ambition differ from the strategic concerns driving more advanced career decisions and illustrate another potential side-effect of ideological disagreement within parties.
... Previous research highlights that women are more likely to display collaborative, compromise-oriented, and consensual behavior whereas men are more individualistic, aggressive, and competitive (Barnes, 2016;Eagly, 1987;Krauss & Kroeber, 2021;Volden et al., 2013). Both experimental work and qualitative research focusing on male and female political aspirants, candidates, and MPs show that women are generally more conflict-avoidant and risk-averse than men (Bauer & Darkwah, 2020;Kanthak & Woon, 2015;Preece & Stoddard, 2015). In part, such gender differences can be explained based on social role theories (Eagly & Karau, 2002) arguing that individuals adapt to societal expectations about appropriate behavior for men and women, which are shaped by the different roles they occupy in personal and family life, but also in a professional context (Eagly, 2007). ...
Article
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Studies on strategic parliamentary opposition often focus on broader behavioral patterns or party‐level variation. This article analyzes differences at the individual level, more notably between male and female opposition members of parliament. Using rational‐choice perspectives of opposition activity and theories of gendered political behavior, we hypothesize that female opposition members focus less on ideological conflicts (with or between coalition parties) and more on their party’s core issues. Furthermore, we expect them to more frequently target female ministers, in part because of the nature of their respective portfolios. Our analysis of all parliamentary questions tabled by opposition members in the Belgian Federal Parliament between 2007 and 2019 (N = 48,735) suggests that female members of parliament seem more likely to focus on issues that are salient to their party and less on conflictual matters between coalition partners. These results provide new empirical insights into strategic opposition behavior and gendered differences in the legislature.
... Women are traditionally socialised to avoid conflict and competitive surroundings (Moore 2005) illustrated by the fact that girls do not participate in competitive activities to the same degree as boys (Fox and Lawless 2014). The resulting aversion towards competition has been demonstrated in lab experiments in which women rather opted for an activity in groups where the leadership was selected by lottery and not by competitive election (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Niederle and Vesterlund 2011;Preece and Stoddard 2015). Party quotas are one remedy against this problem. ...
Article
Why do women fail to rise in parties, especially youth parties? This analysis shows that female party members’ preferences regarding the purpose of a committee, networking and the election rule in party organisations differ from male party members’ which is likely a reason why women face challenges to rise in parties. This article investigates for the first time these gender based differences in preferences simultaneously by conducting a survey experiment with youth party members. Respondents (n > 1200) were asked if they would run for a seat in a decision-making committee of their youth party. In order to analyse which youth party members opt for which opportunities, the purpose of these committees, the networking opportunities they provide, and the election rule for these committees vary at random. The results show that female members hesitate to join committees that would grant them power, and that they are less likely to opt for upward networking opportunities than their male party colleagues. This effect is particularly strong in hierarchically organised youth parties of centre-right parties. Findings on preferred election rules mostly hold for women from left-wing parties. In contrast to men, this group prefers party quotas. Analysing differences by gender and political orientation, this article shows a clear gender preference gap exists both within and across youth parties.
... The potential downside of women's relatively strong focus on procedures might explain why female politicians are underrepresented descriptively in the media (Ette, 2017), which, in turn, reproduces gendered stereotypes of politicians being male and politics conflictual. Moreover, it is exactly such a 'masculine style' of politics that, in turn, deters women from engaging in politics (Preece and Stoddard, 2015). ...
Article
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By examining all speech in the 18th legislative period (2013–17) of the German Bundestag, including 6,598,831 words in 51,337 text segments, we compare women’s and men’s parliamentary speech. Our approach builds on the agnostic view on representation and follows a bottom-up approach, which avoids pre-set definitions of what is women’s or men’s language use. By analysing the frequencies of the most used words and keywords from semantic networks, we find four notable descriptive patterns. First, female members of parliament tended to talk more about stereotypical ‘feminine’ policy issues like, for instance, contraception. Second, female members of parliament put people more central in their language, while male members of parliament focused more on Germany as a country. Third, women focused more on procedures than men. Lastly, female members of parliament used a politer language style, for instance, by thanking others, more than male members of parliament.
... 1 Impacts of gender differences and overconfidence differences have been studied in a number of contexts, including entry into politics, innovation, and entreprenuership. Preece and Stoddard (2015) find that women are less likely to run for political office, and Huang and Kisgen (2013) reveal that male managers undertake more acquisitions and issue more debt than their female counterparts. Other studies link behavior directly to overconfidence. ...
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This paper provides a theoretic foundation for overconfidence driving entry into competition and underconfidence leading to avoidance. We do this using the classic Tullock rent-seeking contest, modeling overconfidence as an overestimate of one's probability of success and underestimate of an opponent's probability of success, and underconfidence as an underestimate of the probability of success. When an unknowingly-overconfident player 1 who overestimates his winning probability faces an unbiased opponent who is aware of player 1's overconfidence, player 1 exerts more effort than player 2 and player 1's objective expected payoff is greater than player 2's. On the other hand, when an unknowingly-overconfident player 1 who underestimates his opponent's winning probability faces this unbiased opponent who is aware of player 1's overconfidence, both players reduce their effort and player 1's objective expected payoff is lower than player 2's. However, player 1's subjective expected payoff, which governs entry into the contest, is higher than player 2's, and overconfident players find contests more appealing than unbiased players do, even unbiased players facing other unbiased players. Underconfident players have subjective expected payoffs that are even lower than their objective expected payoffs, so underconfident players tend to avoid competition. The data generated from repeated contests would make it harder for underconfident players to learn of their bias than overconfident ones.
... The lack of "service" recognition in conjunction with the market's dismissal of the value of care puts a caregiver's CV in jeopardy of appearing meager and non-competitive (Wren & Waller, 2017). Furthermore, Preece and Stoddard (2015) suggest that women are more likely to shy away from competitive careers, in part, due to parental responsibility. Given that most caregivers are women, it is highly likely that these women will be reluctant to embrace a competitive and demanding career in the academy. ...
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Unlike the progression of most traditional-aged, college or university students, my non-traditional, academic trajectory as a parent-caregiver to an intellectually disabled (ID) adult has been fraught with barriers, disruption, and discouragement. Motivation to complete my doctorate rests on a commitment to disability issues, caregiver activism, and intellectual capacity-building of my self. Guided by the “evocative” autoethnographic methodology of Bochner and Ellis (2016), this “insider’s” narrative retrospective autoethnography will attempt to shed light on and evoke an understanding of a doctoral student caregiver’s context and experience in the academy. It encompasses embodiment, a geographically constrained sense of place, marginalization, and neoliberal abandonment—elements that have contributed to my sense of burden, inferiority, and non-competitiveness in the academy. An analysis of my autobiographical experience would suggest that increased institutional awareness of a caregiving student’s complex obligations, recognition of their non-traditional contributions to society, and offerings of flexible modes of participation could improve equity and inclusion for caregivers who are challenged in extraordinary ways.
... Women tend to have a broader notion of risk and to adopt less risky behaviors than men. Examples of this can be found in the economic sphere (Azmat and Petrongolo, 2014), the political sphere (Kanthak and Woon, 2015;Preece and Stoddard, 2015;Schneider et al., 2016), and the public sphere more generally (Larkin and Pines, 2003). No matter to which sphere of life they refer, most studies conclude that men are more risktaking than women (Byrnes et al., 1999;Harris et al., 2006;Weber et al., 2002) either because risk attitudes are attributes of masculine or feminine psychology (Wilson and Daly, 1985), or because they are culturally and stereotypically learnt (Fine, 2017;Morgenroth et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Objective: This article reassesses the gender differences in COVID-19 attitudes and behavior found in previous studies by examining to what extent the gender gap in the adoption of COVID-19 preventive behaviors is dependent on women's and men's perceptions of risk. Methods: The data utilized in this study were obtained from the "Understanding America Study Coronavirus in America ('COVID') Survey," conducted by the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR), at the University of Southern California. Result: This study shows that women are more risk averse than men, but that the gender gap in risk behavior depends on the level of risk that is associated with COVID-19. Conclusion: Risk perception is a stronger driver of risk behavior for men than for women, who generally tend to adopt safe measures to protect themselves and others. Different messages should be delivered to women and men to increase compliance with norms.
... Research in economics has found that women and men respond differently to competitive environments, perhaps because women may be less socially conditioned to compete (Niederle & Vesterlund, 2008). In lab-based experiments, women are somewhat less likely than men to participate in competitive tournaments, tend to avoid competitive settings more than men, and perform worse than men at assigned tasks in such settings (Dato & Nieken, 2014;Jurajda & Münich, 2011;Niederle & Vesterlund, 2005Preece & Stoddard, 2015;Sutter & Glätzle-Rützler, 2014). In education, too, survey research has shown that female principals in a charter-heavy school district were less likely to report competition than male principals (Jabbar, 2015a). ...
Article
Purpose: School choice policies are expected to generate competition leading to improvement in school practices. However, little is known about how competition operates in public education—particularly in charter schools. This paper examines charter-school leaders’ competitive perception formation and the actions taken in response to competition. Research Methods: Using Arizona charter-school leaders’ responses to an original survey, Arizona Department of Education data, and the Common Core of Data, we examined the factors predicting the labeling of a school as a competitor. We estimated fixed effects logistic regression models which examine factors predicting the labeling of competitor schools and of top competitors. We used logistic regression models to understand charter-school leaders’ responses to competition. Findings: We find charter-school leaders in Arizona perceived at least some competition with other schools, and their perceptions vary by urbanicity. While distance between schools mattered generally for labeling a school as a competitor, distance did not factor into labeling “top competitor” schools. Student outcomes did not predict competition between schools, but student demographics were associated with labeling a school a competitor. Charter-school leaders responded to competition through changes in outreach and advertising rather than curriculum and instruction. Competitive responses were related to the respondent school’s quality and the level of perceived competition. Implications for Research and Practice: We found charter-school leaders perceive competition and respond by changing school practices. Responses typically focus on marketing activities over productive responses. The novel state-level analysis allows us to test the effects of local market conditions typically absent in the literature.
... However, the effect of gender may also depend on the specific type of political position. Experimental studies have shown how women appear more likely than men to shy away from competitions and to be more election-averse (Niederle and Vesterlund, 2011;Kanthak and Woon, 2015;Preece and Stoddard, 2015). This gender gap has been attributed to the context of campaigns and the costs of elections (Kanthak and Woon, 2015). ...
Article
This article contributes to the emerging scholarship on the gender gap in political ambitions. While appointed party positions offer politically minded people the opportunity to have further political careers outside the elected path, the extent to which women prefer such alternative careers is unclear. This article investigates the gender gap in the political ambitions of young people in Norway. Studying the gender gap in a country with numerous role models and established opportunity structures allows us to understand how individual and contextual factors might affect ambitions for different elected and appointed political positions. This research also explores the impact of personality and upbringing. The article draws on a 2019–20 survey of young party member elites. Multivariate analysis reveals that gender is a main factor in differences in ambition for elected positions but less so for appointed positions. Key messages Gender can explain differences in ambition for elected political positions in Norway. Male and female youth politicians are equally interested in appointed political positions. Youth politicians who are competitive, self-confident, determined, leader-like, achievement oriented and socially confident have higher political ambitions (both elected and appointed). </ul
... Based on an experimental design, Kanthak and Woon (2015) find evidence that women are more averse to competitive electoral settings than men. In line with this finding, Preece and Stoddard (2015) use a field experiment to show that women are dissuaded from running for office when they are confronted with the competitive nature of the electoral process. In addition to competitiveness, Coffé and Bolzendahl (2017) bring evidence that women are less comfortable with interpersonal conflict, which is typically associated with political careers. ...
Article
A higher candidate turnover among women may be one of the reasons why quota rules seldom succeed in attaining full legislative parity. This proposition is tested on the basis of a longitudinal analysis of 11,678 candidates for legislative elections during the period 1987–2019 in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is shown that male candidates have shorter careers than women, contrary to expectations. The duration of the career as a candidate depends on the electoral performance, but only for men. In the long run, the introduction of a strict quota rule prolongs the candidate careers of both men and women, but the effect for women is much stronger. This finding contradicts the allegation that quota lead to an influx of unmotivated women candidates with a high turnover.
... The literature on gender and leadership generally shows that women are less likely to want to take on a leadership role in many contexts, including investment (Ertac and Gurdal 2012), public goods (Arbak and Villeval 2013), politics (Preece and Stoddard, 2015;Kanthak and Woon, 2015), or in a competition (Reuben et al., 2012;Erkal et al., 2019). While this may be partially explained by preferences, that may not be the full story. ...
... Yet it is difficult to know whether these benefits are fleeting: Inexperienced first-time candidates are more likely to lose-and women did lose these races at higher rates (4). Deepening these concerns, some research suggests that women might be especially discouraged by a loss, perhaps due to their higher risk or competition aversion (5)(6)(7) or rejection sensitivity (8,9). Rather than bolstering democratic representation, the surge of novice women candidates might simply be a "flash in the pan": good news in the short term, but with no real effect in the long term. ...
Article
Are women more likely to quit politics after losing their first race than men? Women’s first-time candidacies skyrocketed in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. Yet we have little sense of the long-term impact of this surge in women candidates on women’s representation writ large: Inexperienced candidates are more likely to lose, and women might be especially discouraged by a loss. This might make the benefits of such a surge in candidacies fleeting. Using a regression discontinuity design and data that feature 212,805 candidates across 22,473 jurisdictions between 1950 and 2018, we find that women who narrowly lose these elections are no more likely to quit politics than men who narrowly lose. Drawing on scholarship on women’s lower political ambition, we interpret these findings to mean that women’s decision-making differs from men’s at the point of entry into politics—not at the point of reentry.
... Since men and women tend to have different aversions to risk, this can be an element that adds to the gap in running for office (Sweet-Cushman, 2016). The high competitiveness of elections also impacts men and women differently, acting as a strong negative factor for women while having no impact on men (Preece & Stoddard, 2015). Women also tend to avoid social comparison and have negative opinions and a dislike of the actual elements required of a political campaign (Kanthak & Woon, 2014), as found by previous research. ...
Article
This paper aims to get a better understanding of the gender gap in political ambition for college men and women. Using data from a survey collected from 348 University of Connecticut students, I examined their perceptions of running for political office, their understanding of the campaign process, their personal political activity, and their likelihood to run for political office in the future. It was found that there was a gender gap in political ambition, but not in the traditional way. I found that women wanted to run for office far more than men, in general and at the local level. Men and women had different reasons for not wanting to run for office and they saw the political arena’s treatment of women very differently. Women were found to be equally, if not slightly more, comfortable with the activities and qualifications required of a candidate and elected official. Those who were politically active were not found to be more likely to want to run for office, but those who consumed political social media were more likely. This study shows a snapshot of what the current college student thinks of politics and running for office, and it shows promising results for the eventual end of the gender gap.
... The null finding for women's psychological orientations to politics merits reflection. Other work shows that cuing political competition through examples such as a hypothetical election negatively affects women's political engagement (Kanthak & Woon, 2015;Preece & Stoddard, 2015). This suggests that competition's effects on women's political engagement may be context-specific and, given our findings about masculine-identified women and sexism, connected to more nuanced understandings of gender. ...
Article
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Politics is often seen as a zero-sum game, so understanding how competition affects political behavior is a fruitful, yet underexplored area of study. Reactions to competition are known to be gendered, as women are significantly more aware of and averse to the potential negative effects of competition—risk and loss—than are men. Participants (n = 1296) completed an experiment involving a non-political competitive task, where they were randomly assigned to receive a negative cue about their individual or gendered group's poor performance. Following this, we assessed their levels of political ambition, efficacy, interest, and sexism. We hypothesize that: (1) negative performance feedback on a competitive task will decrease political ambition, efficacy, and interest among women; and (2) men who receive negative feedback about their performance relative to women will report higher levels of sexism. We use a non-binary measure of masculinity/femininity that helps explain how gender identity affects these outcomes. Evidence does not support the conclusion that negative feedback about competition contributes to women’s lower levels of psychological engagement with politics. However, results show that negative performance feedback, particularly when it is relative to women, increases sexism in men. Furthermore, the effect of negative feedback on sexism is larger when men identify more strongly as masculine. We argue that threatening men’s relative performance partly explains larger trends of backlash against women in politics.
... Women express less interest in power-related goals and greater interest in communal ones (Schneider et al., 2016), leading to incongruence between their goals and the goals of a political career. This disconnect may contribute to their lesser interest (than that of men) in running for office (Lawless & Fox, 2005, 2010Fulton et al., 2006;Sweet-Cushman, 2016;Burt-Way & Kelly, 1992;Fowler & McClure, 1990;Greenlee et al., 2014;Preece & Stoddard, 2015). ...
Article
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Different stereotypes exist for women politicians in a way that is not true for men; a difference that may affect voter evaluations. While some research concludes that these stereotypes disadvantage women candidates, other findings suggest there is no effect, or that women may have some advantages. I employ three unique experiments to offer insight to this disconnect, expanding the knowledge of stereotypes about the goals of legislative vs. executive offices and female politicians in these roles. This analysis provides insight into how the type of office matters, sharpening our understanding of gender stereotypes in candidate evaluation. I find that stereotypes of women in these offices are unique from those of an ungendered officeholder or male officeholders and stereotypes of women are vastly positive, but that these positive stereotypes never equate to an electoral feminine advantage and may penalize a woman with traits counter to the stereotype of the office.
... It is possible to explain the gender differences in willingness to run for office by pointing to more general trait differences between men and women. Women are, for example, generally more risk averse (Booth & Nolen, 2012;Borghans et al., 2009), conflict avoidant (Schneider et al., 2016), less competitive (Niederle & Vesterlund, 2007;Preece & Stoddard, 2015;Tungodden, 2018), and election averse (Kanthak & Woon, 2015). However, even when controlling for general personality traits, women still have lower levels of political ambitions than men (Dynes et al., 2021). ...
Article
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Women are less likely than men to run as candidates in political elections. One reason for this is gendered upbringing, which depresses political ambition among women and strengthens such ambition among men. Furthermore, gendered upbringing can be more pronounced when parents have children of both sexes. Based on these previous findings, we therefore test the theory that both women and men have a higher likelihood of becoming a political candidate if they have sisters rather than brothers. To establish whether the likelihood of running for office is affected by sibling sex composition, we utilize the fact that nature randomly assigns the sex of the younger sibling when parents decide to have a second child. Using data covering the entire adult Danish population and every candidate in national and local elections between 1990 and 2015, we find, however, no evidence that men and women with a younger sister are more likely to run for office. These findings run counter to previous findings on the effects of siblings and gendered upbringing.
... Scholars established that women are more attracted to narratives that emphasize "problem-solving" in political jobs, rather than power (Fox and Lawless 2010;Volden, Wiseman, and Wittmer 2010). Additionally, women tend to be election averse (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015). As local boards and commissions center on solving problems and do not require an election, the woman serving on local boards may stay in these positions, expressing static rather than evolving ambition. ...
Article
Can legislation encouraging women’s political involvement impact women’s desire to run for elected office? Eleven states have passed legislation to promote equal gender representation on appointed government boards, and many argue this legislation will also develop a pipeline of women candidates to run for elected office. This paper is the first scholarly work to assess if gender balance legislation (GBL) increases the number of women candidates and women legislators within a state. I use a nonparametric generalization of the difference-in-differences estimator and find very little evidence that GBL significantly impacts women’s representation at the state level. Results are consistent across multiple outcome variables and different model specifications, including two-way fixed effects, generalized synthetic control, and synthetic control models. The insignificant impact of GBL speaks to the need to thoroughly investigate which institutional reforms adequately feed the female candidate pipeline.
... 2 US women politicians are less likely to be married parents than male counterparts (Carroll and Sanbonmatsu 2013, Table 2.5); see also Crowder-Meyer (2018), Holman and Schneider (2018), Hughes (2011), Kanthak and Krause (2010), Preece and Stoddard (2015). 3 One exception is a field experiment by Karpowitz, Monson, and Preece (2017) that stimulates women's participation in Republican caucuses through an encouragement design. ...
Article
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Women’s underrepresentation in American politics is often attributed to relatively low levels of political ambition. Yet scholarship still grapples with a major leak in the pipeline to power: that many qualified and politically ambitious women decide against candidacy. Focusing on women with political ambition, we theorize that at the final stage of candidate emergence, household income, breadwinning responsibilities, and household composition are interlocking obstacles to women’s candidacies. We examine these dynamics through a multimethod design that includes an original survey of women most likely to run for office: alumnae of the largest Democratic campaign training organization in the United States. Although we do not find income effects, we provide evidence that breadwinning—responsibility for a majority of household income— negatively affects women’s ambition, especially for mothers. These findings have important implications for understanding how the political economy of the household affects candidate emergence and descriptive representation in the United States.
... suggesting that a dislike for the prospect of having to use or endure dishonest campaign tactics may discourage some from entering the political arena (Kanthak and Woon 2015). Priming the competitive nature of political office may also drive down ambition (Preece & Stoddard 2015), while 2 There is also a fourth dimension, fantasy, which involves the tendency to transpose oneself into fictional characters. However, fantasy is rarely studied and does not have clear implications for political behavior. ...
... 2. We assume that women's presence in cabinets is endogenous to the degree of còmpromise-orientation in the executive. While women tend to have lower political ambition (Lawless & Fox, 2013) and a higher aversion to competitive environments than men (Preece & Stoddard, 2015), these patterns are less likely to persist for the highest political positions. Previous research indicates that, when it comes to posts in the executive, women's presence is mostly limited by institutional barriers and biased selection criteria of party gate keepers (see e,g, Barnes & Taylor-Robinson, 2018). ...
Article
Does the gender of prime ministers and cabinet ministers influence cabinet duration? We argue that the risk for early termination of cabinets decreases with women’s presence in the executive. As scholars of social psychology indicate, women apply more consensual and compromise-oriented conflict resolution strategies. Disputes between or within governing parties, which ultimately lead to early termination, should therefore be less likely to emerge and escalate if the government is led by a woman or includes numerous female members. To test this rationale, we analyse a newly compiled, comprehensive dataset covering 676 governments in 27 European countries between 1945 and 2018 by relying on event history analysis. The results suggest that cabinets with a higher proportion of female cabinet members experience a lower risk of early cabinet termination. This article contributes to the study of women as political leaders through additional evidence for the gendered nature of leadership styles.
... Yet these results suggest that we need to look beyond the contributions of economic and social forces to devote more attention to psychological factors. Just as psychological factors can undercut political ambition and deter women from political careers (Kanthak and Woon 2015;Preece and Stoddard 2015), I show that gender gaps in political interest and participation find early origins in the differences in how men and women come to see the disagreements of political and social life. ...
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Why are women less likely to engage with politics as compared to men? I explore whether women avoid politics because of their lower levels of tolerance for conflict and disagreement. Men are more likely to say they enjoy a lively political argument, while women are more conflict avoidant. These differences in people’s orientations toward conflict are thought to contribute to gender gaps in political interest and engagement. I explore this using survey responses to a module of the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study. I find that people’s positive reactions to conflict better explain the decision to engage in politics than negative reactions to disagreements. While women report higher levels of conflict avoidance than men, gender gaps in political engagement cannot be explained by women’s greater aversion to conflict. Instead, gender gaps are better understood as a product of men’s comparatively higher levels of enjoyment of arguments and disagreements.
... Dunia politik lekat dengan kompetisi karena kegiatan partai sejak awal sudah didesain dengan kegiatan merebut, mempertahankan dan memperluas kekuasaan dengan cara-cara yang konstitusional untuk mewujudkan program/kebijakan berdasarkan platform politiknya. Salah satu penyebabnya adalah budaya patriarki politik dalam masyarakat (Amirullah, 2016;Mendelberg & Karpowitz, 2016;Preece & Stoddard, 2015). ...
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Partai politik mempunyai kewajiban yuridis dan moral untuk melaksanakan pendidikan politik khususnya memberdayakan kader perempuan di tengah minimnya partisipasi politik perempuan. Penelitian ini menggunakan pendekatan kualitatif dengan metode deskriptif. Penentuan informan penelitian melalui teknik non probability sampling dengan teknik purposive sampling. Teknik pengujian keabsahan data menggunakan triangulasi sumber data. Temuan penelitian menunjukkan bahwa kendala-kendala pendidikan politik kader perempuan, yakni (1) kendala internal, yang berasal dalam diri kader perempuan; (2) kendala eksternal, stereotip dalam konstruksi sosial budaya masyarakat; (3) keseriusan partai dalam memberdayakan kader perempuan; (4) kelemahan regulasi peraturan perundang-undangan. Partai politik melakukan beberapa upaya untuk mengatasi kendala tersebut melalui pendekatan personal, menggagas konsep tanpa mahar politik; membentuk regulasi internal partai politik yang akomodatif terhadap kebutuhan perempuan.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Political parties have moral as well as juridical obligation to conduct political education especially for women cadres in the low level of political participation among women. It was a qualitative research with descriptive method of explanation. The informant involved was selected with non-probability sampling, purposive sampling. The results reveal the obstacles faced by women cadres are (1) internal obstacles, coming from the cadres themselves; (2) external obstacles, coming from stereotype upholding by among cultural and society members; (3) the seriousness of political party to empower their own women cadres; (4) the weakness of the law concerning this issue. To overcome the problems, political parties is doing effort such as personal approach, politic without political ‘bride price’ (mahar politik), issuing internal regulation accommodative to the needs of women.
... When it comes to the supply side, it has been found that women are less likely to run for office because they have a greater aversion to campaigning (Fox & Lawless, 2004;Lawless & Fox, 2005) and elections (Kanthak and Woon, 2014;Preece and Stoddard, 2015) because they are less ambitious, and because they are socialized to avoid conflict and competitive surroundings (Croson and Gneezy, 2009;Schneider et al., 2016). However, these arguments refer to women who are considering becoming candidates, whereas the pool of women we investigate consists of experienced parliamentarians and is thus a subset of women who have already overcome any aversion to risk or competition (or never had one). ...
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Little is known about the careers of parliamentarians after they leave parliament. We analyze the post‐parliamentary careers of German and Dutch parliamentarians over the last 20 years and document the presence of a persistent and substantial gender gap. This gap exists regardless of party, country or political position and persists even when the status of the pre‐parliamentary profession and achievement within parliament are controlled for. Aside from demonstrating our findings, we offer new insights into possible explanations for the dynamics behind them. Additionally, we show that parliament only serves as a stepping stone for a more successful career for a relatively small share of politicians: only 32% of MPs obtain more attractive positions in the public or private sector after their legislative service. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... This is done because they do not want to be considered unable to become leaders for others (Kirton, G. and Healy, G., 2012). In fact, political competition requires its own toughness (Preece& Stoddard, 2015). While in the tradition of the Iranian society, women have gained a distinctive mandate to participate in political affairs and common good (Yaghoobi& Ayatollah, 2016).The study illustrates that women have been widely studied.Women's leadership styles began to be recognized at the local to international levels since 1970 and women's leadership styles were considered more innovative than men's leadership styles. ...
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p>This article focuses on the leadership style, role, and construction of West Papuan women's leadership in politics and education.This research applied case study method.The results show that West Papuan women have several roles in empowering society in different ways.This is indicated by the large number of women in West Papua occupying important positions in the government in West Papua.In addition, education field shows that West Papuan women made many breakthroughs and led several educational institutions in West Papua.In fact, it can be concluded that the role of West Papuan women, both in politics and in education,is not a complement of men, but partners of men in leading and building West Papua.</p
... Those seminal public choice experiments examined rationality and collective choice decisions (Fiorina and Plott 1978;Riker 1967;Riker and Zavoina 1970). Since the 1990s and early 2000s, field experiments, laboratory experiments and randomized controlled trials have exploded in the toolkits of scholars in political science and political economy (e.g., Clark and Golder 2015;Kanthak and Woon 2015;Karpowitz et al. 2017;Kinder and Palfrey 1993;Merkel and Vanberg 2019;Morton and Williams 2010;Palfrey 2008;Plott 2014;Preece and Stoddard 2015a, b;Sen 2017;Tóth and Chytilek 2018;Wilson 2011). ...
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Are the methods of causal inference and, in particular, randomized controlled trials, compatible with the study of political history? While many important questions regarding political institutions and American political development cannot be answered with randomized controlled trials, scholars can and should be using the many instances of randomized experiments conducted by and within government institutions to further our understanding of institutions and political behavior. We argue that a surprising abundance of opportunities are available for scholars to utilize methods of random audits as natural experiments. Public and administrative officials have engaged in randomized interventions or audits to test for policy effects, to encourage compliance with the law, or to distribute government resources or personal risk to citizens fairly. With rare exceptions, such audits have not been leveraged by scholars interested in American political development or political history. Examples of randomized controlled trials conducted by agencies or institutions throughout US history are offered, and a historical random audit of members of the US Congress by the Federal Election Commission is highlighted. We conclude with limitations and advice on how to analyze the effects of randomized controlled trials conducted by governments. Scholars can use historical randomization to enhance causal inference and test theoretical implications, though deep knowledge of descriptive historical data and events are required to discover historical randomizations within political and legal institutions.
... The bulk of these studies focus on one of two broad parts of the process: the development of nascent political ambition or specific aspects of the campaign and election process. Studies consistently show that women have lower levels of nascent political ambition than men -part of which may be the result of socialization into gender norms and part of which may be endogenous to lower levels of recruitment Holman and Schneider 2018;Lawless and Fox 2010;Maestas et al. 2006;Moore 2005;Preece and Stoddard 2015;. ...
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Most research on the causes of women's underrepresentation examines one of two stages of the political pipeline: the development of nascent political ambition or specific aspects of the campaign and election process. In this article, we make a different kind of contribution. We build on the growing literature on gender, psychology, and representation to provide an analysis of what kinds of men and women make it through the political pipeline at each stage. This allows us to draw some conclusions about the ways in which the overall process is similar and different for women and men. Using surveys of the general U.S. population ( N = 1,939) and elected municipal officials such as mayors and city councilors ( N = 2,354) that measure the distribution of Big Five personality traits, we find that roughly the same types of men and women have nascent political ambition; there is just an intercept shift for sex. In contrast, male and female elected officials have different personality profiles. These differences do not reflect underlying distributions in the general population or the population of political aspirants. In short, our data suggest that socialization into political ambition is similar for men and women, but campaign and election processes are not.
... Although heartwarming, these stories tap into the underlying reality that men hold most political leadership positions in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. Women face many barriers from parties, voters, and donors when seeking political office (Bauer 2015;Crowder-Meyer and Cooperman 2018), and there is a persistent gap between women and men in political ambition (Lawless and Fox 2010;Preece and Stoddard 2015;Shames 2015). The lack of female role models may also dampen the political engagement of young women and girls (Campbell and Wolbrecht 2006;Greenlee, Holman, and VanSickle-Ward 2014;Preece 2016). ...
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While early gendered messages mold children's expectations about the world, we know relatively little about the depictions of women in politics and exposure to gender stereotypes in elementary social studies curricula. In this article, we examine the coverage of political leaders in the children's magazine TIME for Kids , a source commonly found in elementary school classrooms. Coding all political content from this source over six years, we evaluate the presence of women political leaders and rate whether the leaders are described as possessing gender-stereotypic traits. Our results show that although TIME for Kids covers women leaders in greater proportion than their overall representation in politics, the content of the coverage contains gendered messages that portray politics as a stereotypically masculine field. We show that gendered traits are applied differently to men and to women in politics: feminine and communal traits are more likely to be applied to women leaders, while men and women are equally described as having masculine and agentic traits. Portrayals of women political leaders in stereotype-congruent ways is problematic because early messages influence children's views of gender roles.
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Compared to their representation in the workforce, women are significantly underrepresented in leadership roles in the United States. Whereas substantial research attention has been paid to the role of bias and discrimination in perpetuating this gap, less has been devoted to exploring the gender difference in aspirations for these roles. We draw from social role theory to hypothesize that men have higher leadership aspirations than women and test our hypothesis using a meta-analysis of 174 U.S. published and unpublished samples (N = 138,557) spanning six decades. The results reveal that there is a small but significant gender difference in the predicted direction (Hedge's g = 0.22). Notably, the gender difference has not narrowed significantly over time, and appears to widen at college age and among working adults within male-dominated industries. Our results also suggest that the process and dissemination of research in this domain exhibits bias. We discuss the implications of our conclusions for future research.
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This study uses a novel experimental approach to isolate “expressive” or “noninstrumental” payoffs to voting along identity lines, separating them from “substantive” motivations. Applying social identity theory to the case of gender in U.S. elections, the study answers the question: Do some men and women receive a purely expressive payoff from preferring same‐gender candidates? A series of experiments test whether a purely expressive payoff from voting along gender lines is stronger among certain voters. Employing a self‐affirmation treatment and measures of group‐identity attachment, as well as a voting vignette, the evidence shows that Republican men receive a purely expressive payoff from voting for male over female candidates. That is, Republican men’s preference for a male over a female candidate can be reduced by a self‐affirmation treatment that has subjects focus on their individuating characteristics, thereby temporarily “detaching” them from their group attachments. Women and Democratic men are not affected by the self‐affirmation treatment. This study deepens our understanding of voter gender bias in the United States, with a particular focus on the implications of ingroup bias among certain partisan voters for the supply of female candidates within party primary elections.
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Very little research has considered how media discrimination could impact men and women’s political ambition. Yet, media discrimination could impact both beliefs about gender roles and political competence, and beliefs about voter bias, both of which could decrease women’s political ambition and increase men’s. Alternatively, media discrimination could lead women to react against discrimination and be motivated politically. This study tests how political ambition of men and women is impacted by media discrimination in a campaign and election lab experiment. Media discrimination in this experiment under-reports on women and uses traditional, stereotypical depictions of men and women. The results suggest that in certain conditions, media discrimination in political news may lead to a reactance or positive challenge effect for women, increasing their political ambition. Men, instead, may feel an aversion to entering politics, lowering their political ambition.
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Research summary Career paths depend not only on individuals’ own competitiveness but also on the competitiveness of others in a position to advocate for them. In this paper we study competitiveness when rewards accrue to another individual. In particular, we ask how female and male managers’ competitiveness changes when rewards from competition accrue to their female or male protégés, relative to when they accrue to themselves. Using an experimental approach, we find that when rewards accrue to protégés, male and female managers are equally competitive because female managers increase their competitiveness. However, male managers compete more for male rather than female protégés. This gap disappears when male managers know their protégés’ risk preferences suggesting a novel intervention to ensure equity in the sponsorship process. Managerial Summary Sponsorship is key to individuals’ career development and firms’ human capital strategy. In this experimental study simulating an organizational setting, we investigate one aspect of sponsorship and ask whether managers’ and protégés’ genders affect managers’ willingness to compete on behalf of their protégés. We find that when the rewards from competition accrue to protégés, female managers increase their competitiveness and eliminate the gender competitiveness gap present when rewards accrue to managers themselves. This suggests that, from a competitiveness standpoint, female and male managers are equally strong sponsors. However, male managers compete more for male, relative to female, protégés. This gap disappears when male managers have information about protégés’ risks preferences, suggesting a novel approach that organizations can implement to reduce discrimination in sponsorship. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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This article studies the short- and long-term effectiveness of gender quotas applied to candidates in elections based on single-member districts. I exploit the introduction of gender quotas in the French parliamentary elections in 1997 and 2002. Using election data from 1978 to 2017 and a difference-in-differences strategy, I show that the main political parties all reacted by nominating women in less winnable districts in the short term but these strategies gradually disappear for the left-wing party while they persist up to 15 years later for the right-wing party. I argue that these nomination patterns are partly explained by the persistence of incumbents and the inexperience of new female candidates as well as different compliance levels by the main parties.
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The significance of the human body and the embodiment of gender identity is an important discussion that requires more attention within gender and organisation studies literatures. In this paper, we draw on high-profile interviews with female parliamentarians in Pakistan to examine how embodiment affects women in power. Our data suggests that embodiment affects social exchanges that involve power and that the physical performances of socially constructed gendered behaviours affect performances as political leaders. Women leaders use different bargains to access and exercise power while also fitting into a socially acceptable version of a woman. We expand the notion of patriarchal bargains and demonstrate that women negotiate for power with patriarchy in physical, discursive and ideological ways.
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Business leaders emerge as key players in canonical accounts of urban politics, but data limitations have hampered efforts to quantify their role in city politics. Drawing on an original dataset that includes gender, race, occupational, and political experience for over 3,500 mayoral candidates from 259 cities over fifty years, I document who runs for office and who serves as mayor, with a focus on candidates who are business owners and executives. Overall, the data indicate that mayors tend to be White and male with prior political experience and white-collar careers. Business owners and executives account for nearly one-third of the candidates in the sample, but I find no indication that they win elections at higher rates than other candidates overall. However, my results do suggest that business owners and executives have better electoral prospects in more conservative cities, especially those that hold nonpartisan elections.
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Party leaders, acting as gatekeepers, have a direct impact on politicians’ careers. The fact that this leadership is often male has been identified as a source of discrimination against female candidates. We analyze such sex-biased party politics in formation of party lists. Recently, candidates’ list ranking in (semi-) open list systems has been shown to depend on their electoral performance) in the previous election. Using electoral data from the 2006 and 2012 local elections in Flanders we study whether and to what extent such a reward system is sex neutral. We find the party leadership in the semi-open list system to reward (punish) male and female candidates with equal electoral performance differently. Female candidates’ list ranking in 2012 is more sensitive to their electoral performance than that of male candidates. Importantly, the sex of the local party leader and party ideology, are found to affect the sex differences in electoral remuneration.
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Leadership selection often requires candidates to actively choose to express their interest. Using a series of incentivized experiments with more than 1000 participants, we compare such an Opt-in mechanism with an Opt-out mechanism where everyone qualified for the position is in the candidate pool by default, but individuals can choose to opt out of the selection process. The results reveal a gender gap in participation decisions under the Opt-in mechanism. The gender gap exists even when individuals know they are the top performers, suggesting helping women improve their performance may not necessarily reduce gender gaps. Importantly, women are more likely to participate under the Opt-out mechanism and gender gaps in leadership selection are reduced.
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Globally, women are underrepresented in politics. We propose developmental psychology offers an important, yet underused, theoretical lens for understanding and counteracting the gender gap in political leadership. In making this proposal, we harness insight from research on women’s underrepresentation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), where developmental psychology has revealed that cultural beliefs and attitudes about STEM are transmitted early in life and begin undermining girls’ interest and confidence in STEM long before adulthood. Leveraging developmental research from STEM as inspiration, we identify five areas of inquiry that are critical to a developmentally informed perspective on the origins of the gender gap in politics. Although studying children to understand political inequities among adults may be playing the “long game,” we argue this will be a necessary step to advance gender equity in political leadership.
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Will experience with direct democracy influence men's and women's political beliefs differently? Despite the closed gender gap in voter turnout, women remain less interested in politics and participate less frequently in non-voting activities than men. Scholars find women's lower sense of internal political efficacy as the origins of these gender gaps. In this paper, I examine whether the experience of direct participation in political decision-making alters women's feelings of internal political efficacy differently from it does men's. Building on the insights from the literature on the gendered psychological traits, I theorize that voting in referendums will promote men's internal political efficacy but not women's, because of women's greater susceptibility to the psychological costs of participation in referendums. Using an original panel survey conducted shortly before and after the 2018 abortion referendum in Ireland, I demonstrate the presence of the gendered effect in voting in referendums: While men reported increased internal political efficacy after voting in the referendum, women did not experience any meaningful change, even though the issue magnified women's psychological engagement with the vote. My findings suggest that differences in psychological dispositions between men and women create gendered reactions to citizen experience in the political arena.
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Employing a combined experimental and survey approach, we examine the effect of voting power on voting behavior at shareholder meetings. To avoid possible selection bias in archival voting data, we exogenously manipulate shareholder power to affect the outcome. Our findings suggest that in the approval of corporate decisions involving conflicts of interest, voting power nudges shareholders to oppose management and to choose the “right” alternative, that is, to vote against a proposal which ostensibly does not serve the company’s best interest. This effect emerges even when the dissenting vote stood in opposition to that of all their peers’ and even in opposition to the self-interest of the shareholder. Furthermore, we find that strategic voting among institutional investors is contingent on voting power: When in a position to affect the outcome, institutional investors tend to take fewer strategic considerations into account and follow fewer consistent patterns in their voting, relative to situations in which their ability to affect the outcome is limited. When confronting the prospect of a “bad” proposal coming before the general shareholders meeting, institutional investors prefer to negotiate terms with management, and vote against it only after such negotiations fail. Our results shed additional light on the ‘behind the scenes’ processes involved in shareholder voting and underscore the importance of institutional investor agency to corporate governance, accountability and minority shareholder representation.
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This exploratory study examined gender differences in perceptions of policy advocacy activities performed by top executive leaders in social work organizations. A nationwide survey of 233 top executives from two types of social work organizations in South Korea revealed gender differences in the perception of the level of one’s policy advocacy activities, where male executives were more likely to recognize their policy advocacy performance activities than were female executives. These gender differences were also confirmed in multiple regression analyses, which showed that gender was the only significant determinant for all three dependent variables of policy advocacy activities.
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We explore how team gender composition affects willingness to lead by randomly assigning participants in an experiment to male- or female-majority teams. Irrespective of team gender composition, men are substantially more willing than women to lead their team. The pooled sample, and women separately, are more willing to lead female- than male-majority teams. An analysis of mechanisms reveals that a large share of the negative effect of male-majority teams on women's leadership aspirations is accounted for by a negative effect on women's confidence, influence, and expected support from team members.
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The political underrepresentation of women and racial minorities in Canadian politics is well documented. One political arena that has yet to be examined in this respect, however, is school boards. Using data from a candidate survey conducted during the course of the 2018 Ontario school board elections, as well as demographic data collected on the entire population of school board candidates, we explore the unique characteristics of school board elections. The research note begins by describing the gender and racial composition of candidates and trustees in Canada's most populous province. It then considers the ways in which school board elections may serve as a launchpad to higher office for either of these two traditionally underrepresented groups, as we explore the features of progressive political ambition, recruitment into school board campaigns and the relative electoral success of racialized candidates and women in this local office. While women do very well in school board elections, they are significantly less likely than their male counterparts to have the desire to move up to provincial or federal politics. Meanwhile, racialized candidates contest school board election in significant numbers and report similar levels of progressive ambition relative to their white counterparts, but they fare exceptionally poorly in school board elections.
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Using data on the universe of elected politicians in French municipalities, this paper studies the impact of a gender quota law on the political representation of women and on the composition of municipal councils. The empirical strategy, a Difference-in-Discontinuities design, takes advantage of the fact that the policy applies to cities above a population threshold, and that this threshold has been modified over time. I find that the quota policy has a substantial impact on the share of female candidates and elected politicians, but fails to promote female mayors and list leaders, even in cities that have been exposed to the policy for 13 years. Women do not reach leadership positions because they are more likely to resign than male politicians. This higher propensity of women to leave politics is correlated with local gender norms concerning the place of women in society, and also varies with individual characteristics such as age and professional background. In a second part, I show that quotas have little effect on the composition of municipal councils in terms of socio-economic background, age, and political experience.
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Party support has a strong influence on candidate success in the primary. What remains unexplored is whether party actions during the primary are biased along racial and gender lines. Using candidate demographic data at the congressional level and measures of party support for primary candidates, we test whether parties discriminate against women and minority candidates in congressional primaries and also whether parties are strategic in their support of minority candidates in certain primaries. Our findings show parties are not biased against minority candidates and also that white women candidates receive more support from the Democratic Party than do other types of candidates. Our findings also suggest that parties do not appear to strategically support minority candidates in districts with larger populations of minorities. Lastly, we also find no significant differences in the effects of party support on the likelihood of success in the primary by candidate race or gender.
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We provide a novel approach to understanding the political ambition gap between men and women by examining perceptions of the role of politician. Across three studies, we find that political careers are viewed as fulfilling power-related goals, such as self-promotion and competition. We connect these goals to a tolerance for interpersonal conflict and both of these factors to political ambition. Women's lack of interest in conflict and power-related activities mediates the relationship between gender and political ambition. In an experiment, we show that framing a political career as fulfilling communal goals—and not power-related goals—reduces the ambition gap.
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Gender differences in competitiveness have been hypothesized as a potential explanation for gender differences in education and labor market outcomes. We examine the predictive power of a standard laboratory experimental measure of competitiveness for the later important choice of academic track of secondary school students in the Netherlands. Although boys and girls display similar levels of academic ability, boys choose substantially more prestigious academic tracks, where more prestigious tracks are more math- and science-intensive. Our experimental measure shows that boys are also substantially more competitive than girls. We find that competitiveness is strongly positively correlated with choosing more prestigious academic tracks even conditional on academic ability. Most important, we find that the gender difference in competitiveness accounts for a substantial portion (about 20%) of the gender difference in track choice. JEL Codes: C9, I20, J24, J16.
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Do men and women differ in their decisionmaking calculus for higher office? To answer this question, we use a survey of state legislators (SLs) in 1998 to examine the conditions under which male and female SLs seek a position in the U.S. House of Representatives. We consider three ways in which gender may influence ambition and the decision to run—indirectly, directly, and interactively—and we find evidence of all three effects. Female state legislators are less ambitious than males for a U.S. House seat, a difference that largely stems from gender disparities in child-care responsibilities. However, despite their lower ambition, female SLs are just as likely as their male counterparts to seek a congressional position. This apparent puzzle is solved by the finding that the expected benefit of office mediates the relationship between ambition and the likelihood of running. Female SLs are much more responsive to the expected benefit of office than are males, offsetting their diminished ambition level. The sense of a woman is reflected in female state legislators’ increased sensitivity to the strategic considerations surrounding a congressional candidacy. Because men and women respond differently to the intersection of ambition and opportunity, gender constitutes an important, yet often neglected, explanatory variable in the decision-to-run calculus.
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Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT) is an online crowdsourcing service where anonymous online workers complete web-based tasks for small sums of money. The service has attracted attention from experimental psychologists interested in gathering human subject data more efficiently. However, relative to traditional laboratory studies, many aspects of the testing environment are not under the experimenter's control. In this paper, we attempt to empirically evaluate the fidelity of the AMT system for use in cognitive behavioral experiments. These types of experiment differ from simple surveys in that they require multiple trials, sustained attention from participants, comprehension of complex instructions, and millisecond accuracy for response recording and stimulus presentation. We replicate a diverse body of tasks from experimental psychology including the Stroop, Switching, Flanker, Simon, Posner Cuing, attentional blink, subliminal priming, and category learning tasks using participants recruited using AMT. While most of replications were qualitatively successful and validated the approach of collecting data anonymously online using a web-browser, others revealed disparity between laboratory results and online results. A number of important lessons were encountered in the process of conducting these replications that should be of value to other researchers.
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Laboratory studies have documented that women often respond less favorably to competition than men. Conditional on performance, men are often more eager to compete, and the performance of men tends to respond more positively to an increase in competition. This means that few women enter and win competitions. We review studies that examine the robustness of these differences as well the factors that may give rise to them. Both laboratory and field studies largely confirm these initial findings, showing that gender differences in competitiveness tend to result from differences in overconfidence and in attitudes toward competition. Gender differences in risk aversion, however, seem to play a smaller and less robust role. We conclude by asking what could and should be done to encourage qualified males and females to compete.
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The pipeline theory suggests that increasing the number of women in male-dominated fields should lead to more equality in the labour market. This perspective does not account for differences in the expectations of men and women within the pipeline, which may serve to perpetuate inequities. This study explores the differences in the choice of academic preparation, career expectations, and career priorities of 23,413 pre-career men and women using a large sample of Canadian post-secondary students who are about to embark on their first careers. Our results indicate that, although women are increasingly entering male-dominated fields such as science/engineering and business, they continue to have lower salary expectations and expect a longer time to promotion than their male counterparts. That said, young women in male-dominated fields reported higher salary expectations than those in female-dominated fields. Additionally, young women indicated a preference for beta career priorities (e.g., work/life balance) that are associated with lower salaries, while men indicate a preference for alpha career priorities (e.g., build a sound financial base) that are associated with higher salaries. Our study also found that although women are entering the pipeline for male-dominated fields in greater numbers, it does not necessarily result in more equality for women in the labour market. We conclude that the inequities in the labour market are evident within the pre-career pipeline in the form of gendered expectations. We recommend a number of interventions that might address the expectation gap and therefore improve gender equity in the labour market.
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Although Mechanical Turk has recently become popular among social scientists as a source of experimental data, doubts may linger about the quality of data provided by subjects recruited from online labor markets. We address these potential concerns by presenting new demographic data about the Mechanical Turk subject population, reviewing the strengths of Mechanical Turk relative to other online and offline methods of recruiting subjects, and comparing the magnitude of effects obtained using Mechanical Turk and traditional subject pools. We further discuss some additional benefits such as the possibility of longitudinal, cross cultural and prescreening designs, and offer some advice on how to best manage a common subject pool.
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Even though the provision of equal opportunities for men and women has been a priority in many countries, large gender differences prevail in competitive high-ranking positions. Suggested explanations include discrimination and differences in preferences and human capital. In this paper we present experimental evidence in support of an additional factor: women may be less effective than men in competitive environments, even if they are able to perform similarly in noncompetitive environments. In a laboratory experiment we observe, as we increase the competitiveness of the environment, a significant increase in performance for men, but not for women. This results in a significant gender gap in performance in tournaments, while there is no gap when participants are paid according to piece rate. This effect is stronger when women have to compete against men than in single-sex competitive environments: this suggests that women may be able to perform in competitive environments per se. © 2001 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Gender gaps may be observed in a variety of economic and social environments. One of the possible determining factors is that men are more competitive than women and so, when the competitiveness of the environment increases, the performance of men increases relative to that of women. We test this hypothesis in a field study conducted with 9-year old children, running on a track. They first run alone and then in pairs over a short distance with different gender composition of the pairs. The results support the hypothesis that performance in competition varies according to gender. When children ran alone, there was no difference in performance. In competition boys, but not girls, improved their performance. This finding relates to the discussion regarding single sex schools: the outcomes of examinations in a mixed sex school can show a gender gap in favor of boys, even when this gap does not reflect actual abilities. Girls who are as talented as boys will end up performing worse just because they are not as competitive, and will not achieve as high scores in examinations as boys.
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In this article, we develop the concept of nascent political ambition and offer the first empirical assessment of potential candidates' initial interest in seeking elective office. Our analysis is based on the Citizen Political Ambition Study-our national survey of nearly 3,800 individuals in the four professions that most frequently precede a career in politics. We find that a general sense of efficacy as a candidate, as well as a politicized upbringing, motivate well-situated potential candidates' inclinations to run for office. Alternatively, status as a member of a group historically excluded from politics depresses the likelihood of considering a candidacy. These findings shed light not only on the prospects for political representation and democratic legitimacy in the United States, but also the means by which to study candidate emergence and conceptualize political ambition.
Article
A critical void in the research on women's underrepresentation in elective office is an analysis of the initial decision to run for office. Based on data from our Citizen Political Ambition Study, the first large-scale national survey of potential candidates, we examine the process by which women and men emerge as candidates for public office. We find that women who share the same personal characteristics and professional credentials as men express significantly lower levels of political ambition to hold elective office. Two factors explain this gender gap: first, women are far less likely than men to be encouraged to run for office; second, women are significantly less likely than men to view themselves as qualified to run. Our findings call into question the leading theoretical explanations for women's numeric underrepresentation and indicate that, because of vestiges of traditional sex-role socialization, prospects for gender parity in U.S. political institutions are less promising than conventional explanations suggest.
Article
It Still Takes A Candidate serves as the only systematic, nationwide empirical account of the manner in which gender affects political ambition. Based on data from the Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study, a national survey conducted of almost 3,800 “potential candidates” in 2001 and a second survey of more than 2,000 of these same individuals in 2008, Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox find that women, even in the highest tiers of professional accomplishment, are substantially less likely than men to demonstrate ambition to seek elective office. Women are less likely than men to be recruited to run for office. They are less likely than men to think they are qualified to run for office. And they are less likely than men to express a willingness to run for office in the future. This gender gap in political ambition persists across generations and over time. Despite cultural evolution and society's changing attitudes toward women in politics, running for public office remains a much less attractive and feasible endeavor for women than men.
Article
Do men and women respond to various party recruitment messages similarly? Working with the Utah County Republican Party, we designed a field experiment in which we invited over 11,600 male and female party activists to attend a free, party-sponsored “Prospective Candidate Information Seminar” by randomizing different invitation messages. We found that women were half as likely as men to respond to recruitment—log on to the seminar website for more information, register for the seminar, and attend the seminar. While we found some suggestive evidence about what recruitment messages may particularly motivate women or men vis-à-vis a control message, our findings are inconclusive because of a low response rate. This first attempt to experimentally test gendered reactions to recruitment in a sample of active party supporters provides a valuable baseline for future research.
Article
A nascent but growing research area examines political institutions through the use of field experiments. I consider why field experimentation has been used infrequently in the study of political institutions and note that some research questions are not amenable to field experimentation. I review areas of research inquiry where field experimentation has enhanced scholarly knowledge about political institutions and representation. These areas include the study of race, representation, and bias in legislatures and courts; and policy responsiveness and legislative accountability. I synthesize this research by examining puzzles that emerge between the field experimental and observational work. I conclude with suggestions for promising research avenues, including the use of field experiments to study the bureaucracy. The discipline's understanding of political institutions could be improved with a greater emphasis on field experimental work.
Article
Research on political ambition and recruitment has yet to consider seriously the role of private life and especially the family in a potential candidate's calculation of the costs and benefits of running for office. One reason is that men, who constitute the vast majority of candidates, are not usually identified as experiencing conflict between public and private roles. Using the Center for Political Studies (CPS) 1972 Convention Delegate Study, this article investigates the interrelationships of family roles, subjective conflict, and political ambition. Although many of the same features of family life conflict with men's and women's political life, the role these play in potential candidates' decisions is different for men and women.
Article
Women have long faced special barriers in their efforts to gain election to political office. We show that the hurdles women encounter go beyond the often- described familial responsibilities and occupational disadvantages to include perceptual and political barriers unique to women. Using a two-wave, five-year panel of people serving on city councils, we find women likely to pursue higher office only under particular conditions--conditions that seem to matter little to men. Additionally, the success of women in pursuing higher office is more closely tied to the circumstances in which they find themselves than is the success of men. We suggest that the motivational circumstances of women and men in pursuing a political career are more complex than previously assumed. It is not just that men and women differ in their career attitudes and perceptions but that these attitudes and perceptions have different meaning for the two sexes.
Article
Despite an electoral system that appears to present excellent opportunities for women to win elective office, the number of women candidates remains low. While the initial decision to run for office is critical in understanding women's continued under-representation in elective office, very little research explores this subject. To examine the manner in which gender affects the decision to seek an elective position, we investigated how men and women in the "pool of eligible candidates" in New York State perceived running for office. Two central findings emerged from our data. First, contrary to findings in previous research, women and men in our sample expressed roughly equal levels of political ambition and viewed the campaign environment similarly. Our second central finding, however, is that important gender differences emerged in the factors that contributed to the decision to run. In other words, women considered many more factors when thinking about running for office, whereas men of all types felt more freedom to launch a candidacy. These findings tend to reinforce the notion that broad patterns of sex-role socialization continue to impede women from full inclusion in the electoral process.
Article
To study gender differences in candidate emergence, we conduct a laboratory exper- iment in which we control the incentives potential candidates face, manipulate features of the electoral environment, and measure beliefs and preferences. We find that men and women are equally likely to volunteer when the representative is chosen randomly, but that women are less likely to become candidates when the representative is chosen by an election. This difference does not arise from disparities in abilities, risk aversion, or beliefs, but rather from the specific competitive and strategic context of campaigns and elections. Thus, we find evidence that women are election averse whereas men are not. Election aversion persists with variations in the electoral environment, disappear- ing only when campaigns are both costless and completely truthful.
Article
This paper analyzes the effects of information about inequality and taxes on preferences for redistribution using randomized online surveys on Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk). About 5,000 respondents were randomized into treatments providing interactive information on U.S. income inequality, the link between top income tax rates and economic growth, and the estate tax. We find that the informational treatment has very large effects on whether respondents view inequality as an important problem. By contrast, we find quantitatively small effects of the treatment on views about policy and redistribution: support for taxing the rich increases slightly, support for transfers to the poor does not, especially among those with lower incomes and education. An exception is the estate tax — we find that informing respondents that it affects only the very richest families has an extremely large positive effect on estate tax support, even increasing respondents' willingness to write to their U.S. senator about the issue. We also find that the treatment substantially decreases trust in government, potentially mitigating respondents' willingness to translate concerns about inequality into government action. Methodologically, we explore different strategies to lower attrition in online survey platforms and show our main results are robust across methods. A small follow-up survey one month later reveals that our results persist over time. Finally, we compare mTurk with other survey vendors and provide suggestions to future researchers considering this platform.Institutional subscribers to the NBER working paper series, and residents of developing countries may download this paper without additional charge at www.nber.org.
Article
Psychological and socio-psychological factors are now more commonly discussed as possible explanations for gender differences in labor market outcomes. We first describe the (mainly) laboratory-based evidence regarding gender differences in risk preferences, in attitudes towards competition, in the strength of other-regarding preferences, and in attitudes towards negotiation. We then review the research that has tried to quantify the relevance of these factors in explaining gender differences in labor market outcomes outside of the laboratory setting. We also describe recent research on the relationship between social and gender identity norms and women's labor market choices and outcomes, as well as on the role of child-rearing practices in explaining gender identity norms. Finally, we report on some recent work documenting puzzling trends in women's well-being and discuss possible explanations for these trends, including identity considerations. We conclude with suggestions for future research.
Article
A leading explanation for the small number of women in top elective positions is that not enough women comprise the pool of candidates generally considered “eligible” to run for political office. This explanation assumes that once more women excel in the areas of law and business, the leading occupations preceding a career in politics, the disparity between the number of women and men serving in elected positions will dissipate. Despite the fact that studies of the initial decision to run for office are critically important in evaluating women's slow movement into elected positions, almost no empirical work examines the initial decision to seek office. This article, which examines the attitudes of over 200 women and men from the pool of potential candidates in New York State, offers a first look at some of the ways in which gender may interact with the initial decision to run for office. Ultimately, we argue that the “eligibility pool” explanation may not fully take into account the manner in which the continued prevalence of traditional sex-role socialization affects the initial decision to enter the political arena. We find that traditional family structures and historically socialized gender roles may continue to discourage women from seeking public office. These findings reinforce the notion that broad patterns of sex-role socialization
Article
A critical void in the research on women's underrepresentation in elective office is an analysis of the initial decision to run for office. Based on data from our Citizen Political Ambition Study, the first large-scale national survey of potential candidates, we examine the process by which women and men emerge as candidates for public office. We find that women who share the same personal characteristics and professional credentials as men express significantly lower levels of political ambition to hold elective office. Two factors explain this gender gap: first, women are far less likely than men to be encouraged to run for office; second, women are significantly less likely than men to view themselves as qualified to run. Our findings call into question the leading theoretical explanations for women's numeric underrepresentation and indicate that, because of vestiges of traditional sex-role socialization, prospects for gender parity in U.S. political institutions are less promising than conventional explanations suggest.
Article
While differences between men and women in political behavior have declined, women remain underrepresented in public office in America. Studies indicate that even women in elite positions in political parties have less ambition for elective office than their male counterparts. This article examines the countersocialization theory to see whether politically ambitious women undergo significantly different experiences from non-ambitious women and from ambitious men or whether factors leading to political ambition are the same for both men and women. Men and women state convention delegates in 1984 were asked questions regarding their desire for future elective public offices and their past political experiences. There was a significant difference in the level of political ambition of male and female delegates. However, the causes of political ambition appear to be diffuse, and factors leading to political ambition are similar for both men and women.
Article
Data gathered by the authors from undergraduate and part-time graduate business students in 1976-1977 suggested that men were more likely than women to aspire to top management and that, consistent with traditional stereotypes of males and managers, a gender identity consisting of high masculinity and low femininity was associated with aspirations to top management. As a result of gender-related social changes, we expected the gender difference in aspirations to top management but not the importance of gender identity to have decreased over time. We collected data in 1999 from the same two populations to test these notions. In newly collected data, high masculinity (but not low femininity) was still associated with such aspirations, and men still aspired to top management positions more than women. However, the gender difference in aspirations to top management did not decrease over time.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship of gender, work factors, and non‐work factors with aspirations to positions in senior management. A process model of senior management aspirations was developed and tested. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected via an online survey that resulted in a sample of 368 working professionals. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to analyze results. Findings Women were less likely than men to desire promotion into a senior management position. Moreover, women's lower desired aspirations for promotion to senior management were due in part to the smaller degree of congruence that women perceive between personal characteristics and senior management positions and in part to the less favorable prospects for career advancement that women perceive relative to men. Research limitations/implications The cross‐sectional, correlational research design does not permit strong inferences regarding the causal direction of observed relationships. In addition, the specific nature of the sample (working professionals enrolled in graduate study at one university in the USA) may limit the generalizability of the results. Practical implications Because women's career aspirations are affected by their perceived congruence with senior management positions and by their perceived opportunity to reach senior management, organizations should assure that senior management roles are not predominantly associated with masculine characteristics and should evaluate their promotion systems to eliminate artificial barriers to women's advancement into senior management. Originality/value This research distinguishes between desired and enacted aspirations as well as provides insights into some factors that explain why women hold weaker desired aspirations for senior management positions than men.
Article
Women's groups emphasize the view that women are viable candidates in American politics with the popular slogan “when women run, women win.” What do party leaders believe about women's electoral chances? Do parties know that “women win”? In an analysis of state legislative election results, I find few gender differences in candidates' vote share and success rates—two widely used measures of the status of women candidates. Yet I find that many party leaders report that one gender has an electoral advantage. These party leader perceptions are related to the objective measures of women's electoral success to some extent. However, most analyses reveal a gap between elite perceptions and objective measures of women's status as candidates. This disjuncture suggests that scholars may have overestimated the extent of party leader and voter support for women. a
Article
Based on data from the second wave of the Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study—our national survey of more than 2,000 “potential candidates” in 2008—we provide the first thorough analysis of the manner in which gender interacts with political recruitment in the candidate eligibility pool. Our findings are striking. Highly qualified and politically well-connected women from both major political parties are less likely than similarly situated men to be recruited to run for public office by all types of political actors. They are less likely than men to be recruited intensely. And they are less likely than men to be recruited by multiple sources. Although we paint a picture of a political recruitment process that seems to suppress women’s inclusion, we also offer the first evidence of the significant headway women’s organizations are making in their efforts to mitigate the recruitment gap, especially among Democrats. These findings are critically important because women’s recruitment disadvantage depresses their political ambition and ultimately hinders their emergence as candidates.
Article
Existing studies of political ambition tell two different stories, male and female. Most research on political ambition focuses on the desire of men and women to hold political office at the state or national level and examines the ambitions of those already employed in the labor force. Scholarly inattention to ambition among activists at the local, neighborhood level may lead us to erroneous conclusions about people's motivations for engaging in politics, particularly along racial lines. A focus on those already in the workforce may distort our understanding of the factors that drive the political ambitions of women in particular. This study confirms that men and women have distinct paths of family socialization, qualifications, high school and college socialization, and life situations on the trail to ambition. It also shows that the local context changes the explanations for ambition. In particular, race, combined with the holding of conservative religious beliefs, varies in its impact upon white and minority women's expressions of ambition for future public office. In addition, the experience of sex discrimination has the countersocialization effect of increasing women's ambition. a
Article
This study examines the political ambitions of representative national samples of women and men holding comparable elective offices in 1981. In contrast to the findings of previous research on sex differences in political ambition, most of which focused on party activists, women are found to be as ambitious for public officeholding as their male counterparts. Two possible explanations for the differences in results between this and earlier studies are tested. The first is that the findings of earlier studies were misleading because they failed to control for officeholding status, thereby masking underlying similarities in the ambitions of women and men who had similar levels of officeholding experience. The second is that the ambitions of political women, relative to those of political men, increased over time. Because neither of these explanations receives empirical support, differential selection into party activist and public officeholding elites is suggested as the most likely reason for the difference in findings. The implications of the findings for the numerical representation of women in national and major statewide offices are discussed.
Article
An important line of research using laboratory experiments has provided a new potential reason for gender imbalances in labour markets: men are more competitively inclined than women. Whether, and to what extent, gender differences in attitudes toward competition lead to differences in naturally occurring labour markets remains an open question. To examine this, we run a natural field experiment on job-entry decisions where we randomize almost 9000 job-seekers into different compensation regimes. By varying the role that individual competition plays in setting the wage and the gender composition, we examine whether a competitive compensation regime, by itself, can cause differential job entry. The data highlight the power of the compensation regime in that women disproportionately shy away from competitive work settings. Yet, there are important factors that attenuate the gender differences, including whether the job is performed in teams, whether the position has overt gender associations, and the age of the job-seekers. We also find that the effect is most pronounced in labour markets with attractive alternative employment options. Furthermore, our results suggest that preferences over uncertainty can be just as important as preferences over competition per se in driving job-entry choices.
Article
Based on the second wave of the Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study, we provide the first thorough analysis of how gender affects women and men’s efficacy to run for office. Our findings reveal that, despite comparable credentials, backgrounds, and experiences, accomplished women are substantially less likely than similarly situated men to perceive themselves as qualified to seek office. Importantly, women and men rely on the same factors when evaluating themselves as candidates; but women are less likely than men to believe they meet these criteria. Not only are women more likely than men to doubt that they have skills and traits necessary for electoral politics, but they are also more likely to doubt their abilities to engage in campaign mechanics. These findings are critical because the perceptual differences we uncover account for much of the gender gap in potential candidates’ self-efficacy and ultimately hinder women’s prospects for political equality.
Article
In this article, we develop the concept of nascent political ambition and offer the first empirical assessment of potential candidates' initial interest in seeking elective office. Our analysis is based on the Citizen Political Ambition Study—our national survey of nearly 3,800 individuals in the four professions that most frequently precede a career in politics. We find that a general sense of efficacy as a candidate, as well as a politicized upbringing, motivate well-situated potential candidates' inclinations to run for office. Alternatively, status as a member of a group historically excluded from politics depresses the likelihood of considering a candidacy. These findings shed light not only on the prospects for political representation and democratic legitimacy in the United States, but also the means by which to study candidate emergence and conceptualize political ambition.
Article
This paper reviews the literature on gender differences in economic experiments. In the three main sections, we identify robust differences in risk preferences, social (other-regarding) preferences, and competitive preferences. We also speculate on the source of these differences, as well as on their implications. Our hope is that this article will serve as a resource for those seeking to understand gender differences and to use as a starting point to illuminate the debate on gender-specific outcomes in the labor and goods markets.
Article
Online labor markets have great potential as platforms for conducting experiments, as they provide immediate access to a large and diverse subject pool and allow researchers to conduct randomized controlled trials. We argue that online experiments can be just as valid – both internally and externally – as laboratory and field experiments, while requiring far less money and time to design and to conduct. In this paper, we first describe the benefits of conducting experiments in online labor markets; we then use one such market to replicate three classic experiments and confirm their results. We confirm that subjects (1) reverse decisions in response to how a decision-problem is framed, (2) have pro-social preferences (value payoffs to others positively), and (3) respond to priming by altering their choices. We also conduct a labor supply field experiment in which we confirm that workers have upward sloping labor supply curves. In addition to reporting these results, we discuss the unique threats to validity in an online setting and propose methods for coping with these threats. We also discuss the external validity of results from online domains and explain why online results can have external validity equal to or even better than that of traditional methods, depending on the research question. We conclude with our views on the potential role that online experiments can play within the social sciences, and then recommend software development priorities and best practices.
Article
Where Women Run: Gender and Party in the American States. By Kira Sanbonmatsu. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006. 264p. $70.00 cloth, $24.95 paper. In recent years, scholarship in the subfield of women and politics has met with a puzzling trend. The percentage of women in state legislatures, once steadily growing, has leveled off and even decreased in recent years. It is from this puzzle that Kira Sanbonmatsu's book begins: Why is the growth of women's representation in the state legislatures slowing down, and what do political parties have to do with it? Sanbonmatsu's argument is thoughtful, detailed and compelling, and she generates a bounty of information for scholars of women and politics, state politics, and political parties.
Article
We examine whether men and women of the same ability differ in their selection into a competitive environment. Participants in a laboratory experiment solve a real task, first under a noncompetitive piece rate and then a competitive tournament incentive scheme. Although there are no gender differences in performance, men select the tournament twice as much as women when choosing their compensation scheme for the next performance. While 73 percent of the men select the tournament, only 35 percent of the women make this choice. This gender gap in tournament entry is not explained by performance, and factors such as risk and feedback aversion only playa negligible role. Instead, the tournament-entry gap is driven by men being more overconfident and by gender differences in preferences for performing in a competition. The result is that women shy away from competition and men embrace it.
Unlocking the Full Potential of Women at Work. McKinsey and Company
  • J Barsh
  • L Yee
Barsh, J., Yee, L., 2012. Unlocking the Full Potential of Women at Work. McKinsey and Company, New York, NY.