How Do Female Candidates Affect Voter Turnout? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach

38 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2016

See all articles by Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs

Date Written: October 26, 2016

Abstract

How does the presence of a woman on the ballot impact election outcomes, aggregate turnout, and the voting behavior of particular groups of voters? Using a regression discontinuity approach, I exploit quasi-random variation in the presence of a female candidate in US House elections stemming from narrowly won primary elections between candidates of different genders. I find that the presence of a female candidate leads to lower overall turnout, but otherwise has no bearing on the outcome of the election. The change in turnout is driven entirely by male voters, which falls uniformly for (male) voters of both parties.

Keywords: gender, politics, voter turnout

JEL Classification: D72, J16

Suggested Citation

Jones, Daniel, How Do Female Candidates Affect Voter Turnout? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach (October 26, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859676 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2859676

Daniel Jones (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - Graduate School of Public & International Affairs ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260-0001
United States

HOME PAGE: http://danielbjones.weebly.com

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