Are Women Less Effective at Passing Bills? Exploring the Direct and Indirect Effects of Gender

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Are women as effective as men at passing legislation? What are the institutional pathways through which gender affects bill approval? I argue that gender does not have a direct effect on a legislator’s ability to gain legislative approval. Instead, women are marginalized in their access to influential institutional positions—committee leadership positions, influential committee assignment, and bill content—which may have consequences for bill approval. I examine these relationships using causal mediation analysis on bill data from Argentina from 1983 through 2007. I do not find a direct effect of gender on bill approval. Instead, women are negatively affected by their lack of access to committee leadership positions. While women do not experience legislative consequences directly, by virtue of being women, they do face indirect consequences through the positions they receive. This article makes important methodological and substantive contributions to understanding relationships between gender and legislative outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-816
Number of pages26
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020

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