Working Paper No. 1233

Gender and Dynastic Political Recruitment

Published: September 17, 2018Pages: 50Keywords: Dynasties; Gender representation; Gender quota; Sweden; IrelandJEL-codes: D72

Gender and Dynastic Political Recruitment Olle Folke, Johanna Rickne and Daniel M. Smith


Throughout history and across countries, women appear more likely than men to enter politics at the heels of a close relative or spouse. We provide a theoretical explanation for this dynastic bias in gender representation that integrates political selection with informational inequalities across social groups.

Legislator-level data from twelve democracies and candidate-level data from Ireland and Sweden support the idea that dynastic ties help women overcome a vote disadvantage in elections, and that the quality of predecessors may be more relevant in the recruitment of female successors than their male counterparts.

Moreover, the role of informational inequalities in explaining the dynastic bias in gender representation is empirically supported by a declining gap over time, and following the introduction of a gender quota in Sweden.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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