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Gender Quotas and the Crisis of the Mediocre Man: Theory and Evidence from Sweden
London Sch Econ & Polit Sci, Dept Econ, Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE, England.;CIFAR, London, England..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government. UCLS, Uppsala, Sweden.
CIFAR, London, England.;IIES, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden..
UCLS, Uppsala, Sweden.;Stockholm Univ, SOFI, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.;IFN, Stockholm, Sweden..
2017 (English)In: The American Economic Review, ISSN 0002-8282, E-ISSN 1944-7981, Vol. 107, no 8, 2204-2242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We develop a model where party leaders choose the competence of politicians on the ballot to trade off electoral success against their own survival. The predicted correlation between the competence of party leaders and followers is strongly supported in Swedish data. We use a novel approach, based on register data for the earnings of the whole population, to measure the competence of all politicians in 7 parties, 290 municipalities, and 10 elections (for the period 1982-2014). We ask how competence was affected by a zipper quota, requiring local parties to alternate men and women on the ballot, implemented by the Social Democratic Party in 1993. Far from being at odds with meritocracy, this quota raised the competence of male politicians where it raised female representation the most. We argue that resignation of mediocre male leaders was a key driver of this effect. (JEL D72, J16)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 107, no 8, 2204-2242 p.
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-332674DOI: 10.1257/aer.20160080ISI: 000407470300003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-332674DiVA: diva2:1153759
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilEU, European Research Council
Available from: 2017-10-31 Created: 2017-10-31 Last updated: 2017-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Folke, Olle

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