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Political Research Exchange - PRX

The Effect of Electing Women on Future Female Candidate Selection Patterns. Findings from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Poland

Kamil Marcinkiewicz
Universität Hamburg
Kamil Marcinkiewicz
Universität Hamburg
Michael Jankowski
Carl Von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Anna Gwiazda
Kings College London

In this paper we address the question of how electing women to parliament affects future female candidate selection in the open-list proportional representation system of Poland. We consider three potential effects of electing a woman to parliament. First, based on existing theories of the incumbency advantage, elected women should have higher chances of reselection and reelection in future elections (incumbency effect). Second, due to becoming more powerful within their party, elected women might have a stronger influence on future list composition and thus more women should run for office on these lists (empowerment effect). Finally, we argue that other parties might adjust their candidate selection patterns in response to the election of women on other party lists (strategic effects). We find strong evidence for the incumbency effect and some support for the strategic effect. The empowerment hypothesis, however, finds no empirical support. This paper is an important contribution to the gender and politics scholarship because it highlights the importance of the politics of presence.
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