Researcher ORCID Identifier

0009-0002-7264-6663

Graduation Year

2023

Date of Submission

4-2023

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Award

Robert Day School Prize for Best Senior Thesis in Economics and Finance

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Cameron Shelton

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Rights Information

2023 Viola Hernandez-Derbez

Abstract

We analyze the effect of a legislative candidate quota on the quality of congresspeople elected. We study a landmark legislation passed in 2014 in Mexico that required all parties to have an equal number of male and female congressional candidates. We observe a 31% increase in number of bills proposed in legislative sessions after the quota and a significantly higher likelihood for greater educational attainment among male and female deputies alike, controlling for an array of factors that could influence our quality measures. Since not all states had the same level of female representation when the quota was introduced, we identify how the quota impacted quality between high-treatment and low-treatment states. We find that the gender quota increased the number of high-quality female congresswomen the most in states that were farther from reaching the 50-50 ratio, leading us to believe that there was a cultural change caused by the implementation of gender quotas that explains the rise in bills proposed and published among deputies.

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