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4 - The First Stage of Policy Change: The Effects of Quotas on Party Priorities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 June 2022

Ana Catalano Weeks
Affiliation:
University of Bath
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Summary

Do gender quotas lead political parties to become more inclusive of women’s preferences? Chapter 4 explores the relationship between quotas and party priorities using manifesto data and qualitative case studies. I focus on the link between quotas and party priorities on three areas : equality, welfare state expansion, and work-family policies. Using matching and regression methods with a panel dataset of parties in OECD democracies, I find that parties in countries that implement a quota law devote more attention to equality than similar parties in countries without a quota. In line with expectations, no change is found to party priorities on welfare state expansion. Using a new dataset of party attention to various work-family policies in four country cases (Belgium, Austria, Portugal, and Italy), I find that quotas are linked to an increase in attention to policies that promote maternal employment (child care, equality-promoting leave) and a reduction in attention to policies that do not (cash transfers that encourage women to stay at home). My qualitative analysis suggests that in countries that have implemented a quota law, parties across the political spectrum jointly promote parental leave and encourage fathers to participate. This is not the case in countries without a quota.

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Making Gender Salient
From Gender Quota Laws to Policy
, pp. 69 - 91
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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