Events

Gender & Representation: A Tradeoff Between Constituency Service and Policy?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:00PM - 1:00PM

Danielle Thomsen
Syracuse University

Gender & Representation: A Tradeoff Between Constituency Service and Policy?

Friday, October 13 12:00 p.m.
B101 Jenkins Nanovic Hall

Previous research shows that women legislators outperform their male counterparts in the legislative arena, but scholars have yet to examine whether similar patterns emerge in non-policy aspects of representation as well. We conducted a field study of 6,500 U.S. state legislators to analyze whether female legislators outperform their male counterparts on constituency service in light of the extra effort they spend on policy. We find that women are more likely to respond to constituent requests than male legislators, even after accounting for their heightened level of policy activity. We explore two mechanisms for why women are more responsive to constituent requests, and our analyses suggest that Anzia and Berry’s (2013) sex-based selection argument is also applicable to gender differences in constituency service. We then demonstrate that this finding is not a function of staff responsiveness, legislator ideology, or increased responsiveness to female constituents or gender issues. The results provide additional evidence that women perform better than their male counterparts across a range of representational activities.

Lunch will be provided and the event is free and open to the public.

Sponsored by The Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy

Gender And Representation Abstract

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