The incumbency advantage is typically thought to constrain female political representation, but can female incumbency provide a signal to parties that reduces strategic gender bias? We argue that once women prove they can win elections, parties will revise their strategic evaluations of their value as candidates. We test this using an original dataset of twenty-one Chilean elections between 1989 and 2012. We use a Heckman selection model to assess re-election rates by incumbent candidate gender, conditional on the re-nomination of incumbents. We find that female incumbents are just as likely to be re-nominated and re-elected as their male counterparts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science