Beyond incumbency disadvantage – MPSA 2012

Esta semana Joy Langston y yo estaremos en Chicago para presentar la versión más reciente de nuestro trabajo sobre cuotas de género y elecciones legislativas en México.

El miércoles 10 de abril participaremos en el comparative politics workshop de la Universidad de Chicago. Y el jueves 11 participaremos en el panel sobre “Gender Quotas and Women’s Representation” de la Midwest Political Science Association Conference 2012. El programa preliminar y muchos de los papers están disponibles aquí.

Beyond the Incumbency Disadvantage: Why More Women Do Not Win Legislative Seats”

Abstract. Why women politicians tend to have more difficulty winning a legislative seat coming from SMD districts than their PR counterparts, even with gender quotas? Some of the common answers given, such as male incumbency advantage and voter bias, are not as complete as one might believe. Mexico is an excellent case to study this phenomenon because consecutive reelection is prohibited, so that incumbency alone cannot explain the gender gap in SMD races. Thus, we focus on a key difference between SMD and closed list PR, which is vigorous, local campaigning.
We analyze the impact of candidate background or experience on the vote shares and the probability of success of a sample of 600 candidates and found that the experience premium is larger than the gender gap in electoral returns. To understand why this is the case, we used interviews and found that men and women do not appear to campaign differently, whereas winners and losers do. This is because campaign success in Mexican SMDs depends heavily on the ability of the deputy hopeful to procure local political brokers who are able to control or mobilize blocks of voters, and candidate’s prior experience helps create a valuable reputation for access to government services that these brokers need to deliver selective goods to their followers.