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Research

Making Suffrage Work - Does Female Suffrage Need a Favourable Environment?

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 two contexts: In municipalities with a male majority in favour of women’s vote and in municipalities with a male majority against it. In both, my main findings show an immediate and long-term effect on the left and populist parties’ vote share where the left lost and right-wing populists gained in local elections. This shift to the right is also reflected in municipal expenditure policy. Municipalities that favoured female suffrage experienced a lower drop in election turnout, while negative effects on expenditure and left parties’ vote share were more pronounced. I propose two possible mechanisms for this finding: Women voted on average more right-wing than men and turned out at higher rates where their political participation was favoured. Or the municipal referendum outcome conveyed the threat of a liberal shift in local politics, which triggered a conservative backlash. Overall, my findings show that local preferences matter for how an institution like female suffrage works out politically.

Enforcing Women’s Rights - Can Female Suffrage Change Gender Views?

Abstract: I exploit quasi-random introductions of female suffrage in Swiss cantons to investigate whether they affect men’s support for women’s right to vote at the national level. Being exposed to a local franchise extension between two referenda on national female suffrage in 1959 and 1971 had a significant positive impact on the male vote share in favour of the referendum. At a closer look, this effect only occurred for municipalities where a majority of men had (initially) opposed women’s vote, while there is no evidence for an effect for municipalities that had always supported it. I show that this is not simply a “ceiling effect” and I use local Swiss census data in order to test whether exposure further had an impact on local gender roles proxied by female labour market participation, marriage rates and number of children. I find no support for this hypothesis, but instead I suggest that local female suffrage informed men about women’s political preferences, which turned out to be more conservative than expected.

A Quality-based Explanation for the Incumbency Curse with Hugo Reichardt and Greg Chih-Hsin Sheen

Abstract: In their APSR article, Klasnja and Titiunik (2017) report a strong electoral disadvantage incumbent parties face in weak party environments like Brazil. As explanation, they propose a theory where voters punish parties who failed to discipline their lame duck incumbents. In this article, we argue that KT misinterpret their finding and instead identify what Eggers (2017) introduced as quality-based incumbency effect. First, we combine empirical evidence from a replicated sample of KT’s data with a model on candidate selection by Carrillo and Mariotti (2001) to support our case. Second, we present a theoretical model that proposes an alternative estimation method to identify a party incumbency effect. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first article to suggest an estimation method to address the theoretical framework brought forward by Eggers (2017).

Early Work in Progress:

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

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