“Gender Gaps in Political Careers: Evidence from Competitive Elections”


This paper documents large and long-lasting gender differences in the career returns from participating in an election. Among candidates who marginally win their primary for a seat in the US House of Representatives, women are 20 percent less likely than men to win the seat. Using a difference-in-discontinuities design, I then show that the gender gap in the probability of being elected translates into diverging future career outcomes. Women are substantially less likely than men to win future elections and to climb the political hierarchy. Similar results are obtained in the context of runoff mayoral elections in Italy.

Link:  Latest version (January 2022); CESifo WP (May 2021).