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Political Research Exchange - PRX

How Women in the Executive Influence Government Stability

Comparative Politics
Svenja Krauss
University of Essex
Svenja Krauss
University of Essex
Corinna Kroeber
University Greifswald

This paper studies the relationship between the gender composition of governments and their duration. We build on the assumption that gender determines politicians’ policy-making styles. While women are supposed to have a higher capacity to moderate conflict and build compromise, men are said to be more aggressive and conflict oriented. If these gendered patterns of political behaviour also hold for members of the executive, governments with higher shares of female ministers and/or a female leader should be more likely to survive conflicts both within the government and with the legislature. Accordingly, we hypothesize that cabinet duration is higher, the higher the share of female ministers and if there is a female leader in the cabinet. To put this argument under empirical scrutiny, we build on a large-scale comparative dataset covering all governments in the 28 EU member countries between 1945 and 2018 and rely on event history analysis to test our hypotheses. Our results will enhance our understanding of government duration as well as of the role of gender in politics in the 21st century.
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