The Impact of Women above the Political Glass Ceiling: Evidence from a Norwegian Executive Gender Quota Reform
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionElectoral Studies. 2019, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2019.102050
Women have historically been underrepresented in democratic assemblies, particularly in top positions with executive powers. Most gender quota reforms address this by mandating a more equal gender representation on election lists. In contrast, a 1992 legislative reform in Norway required parties' candidate lists for the local executive board to comprise at least 40% politicians of each gender. This legal change was not only exogenously imposed by a higher-level government, but also generated distinct quota-induced constraints across Norwegian municipalities. We exploit the resulting variation in ‘quota shocks’ using a difference-in-differences design to identify the quota's effect on women's political representation as well as local public policies. We find that more women enter the executive board after the reform, though spill-overs on women's representation in the local council and on the probability of a female mayor or top administrator are weak. We also find no consistent evidence for shifts in public policies due to increased representation of women in positions with executive powers.