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Do you have what it takes? The effect of politicians’ personal characteristics on the formation of governments (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

Dates:
  • Tue 29 Jan 2019 17.15 - 19.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-01-29 17:15 2019-01-29 19:00 Europe/Paris Do you have what it takes? The effect of politicians’ personal characteristics on the formation of governments (Political Behaviour Colloquium)

The formation of governments is one of the key junctures of the political process. Leading explanations focus on the role of traditional variables relating to size, ideology, and institutions. However, alliances between parties are formed for reasons beyond these. We contend that politicians that are arguably outsiders to entrenched political dynamics, such as women or the young, will find it more difficult to leverage their political power when bargaining over the formation of a government. Using data on around 2,000 local governments in Spain, we apply a regression discontinuity design to compare close elections where parties led by women or younger/older politicians win/lose by a narrow margin. We find important differences in the resulting governments depending on the personal characteristics of the politicians involved in the formation process. Both women and the young are significantly less likely to be appointed mayor even if they came first in elections. These findings suggest the possible existence of an in-group and out-group within the political elite and have broader implications for our understanding of the role of personal characteristics in politics.

Seminar Room 2 DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 2

The formation of governments is one of the key junctures of the political process. Leading explanations focus on the role of traditional variables relating to size, ideology, and institutions. However, alliances between parties are formed for reasons beyond these. We contend that politicians that are arguably outsiders to entrenched political dynamics, such as women or the young, will find it more difficult to leverage their political power when bargaining over the formation of a government. Using data on around 2,000 local governments in Spain, we apply a regression discontinuity design to compare close elections where parties led by women or younger/older politicians win/lose by a narrow margin. We find important differences in the resulting governments depending on the personal characteristics of the politicians involved in the formation process. Both women and the young are significantly less likely to be appointed mayor even if they came first in elections. These findings suggest the possible existence of an in-group and out-group within the political elite and have broader implications for our understanding of the role of personal characteristics in politics.


Location:
Seminar Room 2

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Sophia Hunger - Send a mail

Speaker:
predoctoral fellow Alba Huidobro
 
 

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