Dawn Teele - American Politics Speaker Series


Friday, November 30, 2018, 9:00am to 10:30am


K262, CGIS Knafel Building, 1737 Cambridge St.

"The Gender Gap in the Past"
Dawn Teele, University of Pennsylvania. 

Abstract: How does electoral reform influence the fortunes of political parties? This paper examines the effect of introducing female voters in five of the first countries to enfranchise women -- Norway, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Drawing on historical tracts and theories of the political economy of the household, we argue that high female labor force participation and the robust women's movement in the early twentieth century should have spurred a left gender voting gap. Using original sub-national datasets coded from archival sources and a difference model, we report a remarkable finding that in four of six reforms women's enfranchisement boosted support for Left parties. These results contradict both the ``traditional'' voting gap thesis -- which sees women as conservative voters prior to the 1970s, and the ``double the vote'' hypothesis -- which suggests that female voters would merely replicate the vote shares for each party.

The American Politics Speaker Series (APSS) is organized by Prof. Jon Rogowski and Prof. Maya Sen, and sponsored by the Center for American Political Studies, Harvard Department of Government, and the Kennedy School. 

This talk is free and open to the public.


See also: Seminar