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Jamil Scott, Georgetown University
"Mass Acceptance of Women in Politics in the U.S. States and its Consequences for Women Candidacies”
Co-authored with Corwin Smidt at Michigan State University.
Abstract: This study proposes that changing gender stereotypes have encouraged female candidate emergence because candidates and parties consider them in their candidacy and nomination decisions. We estimate a state's mass acceptance of females being active in politics from 1970-2014 and test its influence on the emergence of female nominees. After accounting for other factors, we find state acceptance of women in politics accounts for the largest growth in women nomination rates. Further estimates partially justify candidate and party hesitancies to run in less accepting states. Differences in mass acceptance account for when and where female Senate nominees experience performance penalties, but only a small subset of less accepting states exhibit significant performance penalties in recent years. These findings indicate that stereotype effects on female candidate performance are rarely observed because candidates and parties avoided them when costly and since now most states are sufficiently accepting of women in politics.
The American Politics Speaker Series (APSS) invites speakers from outside Harvard to present research in American politics. Sponsored by the Center for American Political Studies, the Harvard Department of Government, and Harvard Kennedy School, the series is co-organized by Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Jon Rogowski, and Ben Schneer.