Monday 12
A4 - Gender & Discrimination
Chair: Francesca Barigozzi
› 10:40 - 11:05 (25min)
› Room 005 - E. Jaques-Dalcroze
Why Don't Women Climb to the Top? Evidence from French Politics
Quentin Lippmann  1@  
1 : Paris School of Economcs  (PSE)  -  Website
PSE, 48 bd Jourdan, 75014 Paris -  France

Increasing female representation in politics has been an objective pursued by many countries during the last two decades. To that end, quotas have been introduced, assuming they would serve as stepping stones towards higher positions. Exploiting evidence from France, this article questions this assumption and tests whether the 50\% quota introduced in 2001 on municipal councillors led to an increased number of female mayors. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we show that the effect is insignificant in the short and in the long run, measured at a 19-years horizon. We then exploit a special feature of the French election system in small municipalities that makes electors vote for each candidate individually to question the existence of potential female leaders. We show that, although a third of the most popular candidates are women, they face a probability of becoming mayor that is twice lower than men's. Using a regression discontinuity design, we find that half of these differences are due to low turnover at the position of mayor and to the prevalence of male incumbency. The remaining half is related to supply factors. In terms of public policy, these results show that quotas are not sufficient to increase the number of women in top positions and that alternative policies - such as limiting the number of successive terms - might be more efficient.

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