Three essays on the political economy of under-represented groups
Pino, Francisco J.
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation examines determinants of political representation of two specific groups that have been historically under-represented in the Chilean political system women and supporters of extreme parties. It also studies the effect of disagreement among elite groups on internal conflict in the Papal States. The first chapter explores gender bias in voting. By exploiting the unique institution of gender-segregated voting booths in Chile, I find evidence of a small but significant negative gender bias: women are less likely than men to vote for female candidates. This decomposes into a positive gender bias among center-left voters and a negative gender bias among center-right voters. Roll-call voting data show that elected female politicians in the center-right coalition deviate from the party line by taking a stronger pro-female stance on social issues such as health, family, education and justice. Women voters penalize center-right female legislators who deviate from the party line, but reward those who deviate on social issues. Hence women rather than men exhibit a bias against women candidates, which cannot be accounted for by the policy positions of elected women. The results provide evidence against commonly held beliefs concerning the nature of gender bias amongst voters. Moreover, increased representation of women would likely lead to more pro-women policies being implemented. The second chapter examines whether supporters of small extreme parties vote strategically, by exploiting unique features of the electoral system in congressional elections (commonly known as binominal). I find that having an election close to a doubling threshold significantly decreases the vote share of small coalitions. This is accounted mainly by supporters of small right-wing coalitions shifting their vote to the center-right when the center-left is close to the doubling threshold. The third chapter (with Jordi Vidal-Robert) exploits data from papal conclaves to analyze how disagreement among the cardinals shaped conflict within the Papal States in 1295-1878. Our finding is that polarization (rather than fractionalization) increases both the likelihood of an internal conflict as well as its intensity. This provides support to recent theories concerning determinants of ethnic and political conflict
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston UniversityPLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you.