Does Gender Stereotyping Affect Women at the Ballot Box? Evidence from Local Elections in California, 1995-2016
Research demonstrates that many voters use gender stereotypes to evaluate candidates, but does that stereotyping affect women’s electoral success? In this paper, we try to make headway in answering that question by combining a novel empirical strategy with subnational election data from California. Our strategy relies on two existing findings: first, that individuals are more likely to rely on stereotypes when they have less information, and second, that the average voter in elections held concurrently with national elections has less information about local candidates than the average voter in off-cycle elections. We therefore estimate the electoral effect of increased gender stereotyping by examining the difference in women’s win rates in higher-information (off-cycle) and lower-information (on-cycle) elections—and how that difference varies by constituency and the office sought. Our results show evidence of stereotype-consistent behaviours during on-cycle (low-information) races. We conclude that the direction and magnitude of the effect of gender stereotyping on women’s representation varies across institutional contexts.
Date: 19 February 2019, 12:30 (Tuesday, 6th week, Hilary 2019)
Venue: Nuffield College, New Road OX1 1NF
Venue Details: Clay Room
Speaker: Dr Rachel Bernhard (Nuffield College)
Organising department: Nuffield College
Organisers: Professor Desmond King (University of Oxford), Ben Ansell (University of Oxford)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Nuffield College Political Science Seminars
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editor: Maxine Collett