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Gender and Family Ties in Latin American Legislatures

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 October 2020

Leslie A. Schwindt-Bayer
Affiliation:
Rice University
Agustín Vallejo
Affiliation:
University of Houston
Francisco Cantú
Affiliation:
University of Houston

Abstract

Are women disproportionately more likely than men to have family ties in politics? We study this question in Latin America, where legacies have been historically common, and we focus specifically on legislatures, where women's representation has increased dramatically in many countries. We hypothesize that, counter to conventional wisdom, women should be no more likely than men to have ties to political families. However, this may vary across legislatures with and without gender quotas. Our empirical analysis uses data from the Parliamentary Elites of Latin America survey. We find more gender similarities than differences in legislators’ patterns of family ties both today and over the past 20 years. We also find that women are more likely to have family ties than men in legislatures without gender quotas, whereas this difference disappears in legislatures with quotas.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Women and Politics Research Section of the American Political Science Association.

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Footnotes

We are grateful to Justin Esarey, Matthew Hayes, Melissa Marschall, Dan Smith, participants at the 2017 conferences of the Sociedad Argentina de Análisis Político (SAAP) and American Political Science Association, and the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions on previous drafts of this manuscript. We also thank the editors at Politics & Gender for supporting this manuscript through to publication.

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