Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Vanessa Tyson

Reader 2

Thomas Kim

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In 2018, women made huge representational gains in state legislatures across the country, but those gains weren't distributed equally across the country. This study looks at the most recent legislative elections to reexamine the age old question of why women continue to be underrepresented in government. To win an election, women first have to be on the ballot in a general election. I look at the effect of a legislature's institutional composition on female candidate emergence and find that member pay leads to a lower chance that a woman will run for the seat, but women are more likely to run for full-time legislatures than part-time chambers. Women are also more likely to run for seats in states with multimember districts and with term limits, which is consistent with previous research. These results bring up new questions about how women interact with the perceived competitiveness of a seat.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.