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Research

Making Suffrage Work - The impact of female suffrage in different environments

Abstract: I exploit quasi-random local franchise extensions to Swiss women in the late 20th century to empirically identify the political impact of female suffrage in different contexts. First, I analyse municipalities with a male majority in favor of women's vote and ones with a majority against it. I further study municipalities with a parliament versus direct-democratic assemblies. My findings show that female suffrage caused a right-wing effect in municipal party vote shares and expenditure. However, municipalities that favoured female suffrage moved more center-right than right, and experienced a lower drop in electoral turnout. Municipalities with a parliament instead of an assembly making budget decisions, experienced an increase instead of a drop in expenditure. I complement my findings with a national election survey from 1972 to show that the effects might be driven by differences in women's political interest.

What Drives Support For Enfranchisement? - The Case of Swiss Female Suffrage

Abstract: Democratisation literature mostly focuses on the elite's decision to extend the franchise. But in many cases, current voters have to decide whether to grant the vote to a broader population. Little evidence exists on what factors drive the support among those who are already enfranchised. In this paper, I exploit the change in municipal Yes-vote shares among male voters for two Swiss national referenda on female suffrage between 1959 and 1971. I show that municipalities, which quasi-randomly introduced local female suffrage in between the two referenda, increased their support much more. This increase is driven by municipalities in which a majority of men was initially opposed to national suffrage. Conditioning on similar initial support, I further show that this difference cannot be explained by a "ceiling effect". My findings can also not corroborate that the rise in support is driven by post-suffrage change in municipal party vote shares, expenditure, or cultural proxies, such as female labour market participation.

Partisan Incumbency Disadvantage - A Revised Empirical Strategy To Identify It with Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen (under Review)

Abstract: Partisan incumbency disadvantage is the extent to which a candidate is im- peded by her party’s incumbency status in an open-seat race. The current lit- erature suggests its prevalence in young democracies and explains it through weak parties or corruption. However, we show that canonical regression dis- continuity designs (RD) to estimate this quantity can contain a negative bias. Cause is an imbalance in voters’ uncertainty about the candidate’s quality at the RD cut-off. We propose a revised empirical strategy to circumvent bias. Replicating a study by Klasnja & Titiunik (2017) using Brazilian mayoral election data from 1996-2012, we apply both the canonical and the revised strategy to identify the electoral disadvantage incumbent parties face. We find that using the new approach cuts the replicated effect by three quarters (from -13.2% to -3.1%).

Work in Progress:

An Improved Measure for Gender Bias Against Female Leaders with Salomo Hirvonen (working with cross-national party leadership and polling data)

How Does the Death of Family Members Affect (Female) Migrants’ Lives? with Elena Pupaza and Ben Wilson (working with Swedish register data)