Gendered Opportunities and Constraints: How Executive Sex and Approval Influence Executive Decree Issuance

Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, Alissandra T. Stoyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Do female executives exercise the authority of their office distinctly from their male counterparts? Anecdotal evidence suggests women legislators are likely to govern in a more consensual manner than men. Yet there has been little systematic research extending such claims to women in executive office. Using an original data set, we evaluate one aspect of policy agenda setting—rates of executive decree issuance—among four male–female pairs of Latin American presidents between 2000 and 2014. Female presidents are generally less prone to rule by decree, but this relationship is conditioned by presidential popularity. Female executives with high presidential approval ratings are less likely to rule via unilateral action than similarly popular male executives, but the gendered differences in decree issuance disappear when executives possess low approval ratings. Our findings have implications for understanding the potential benefits of feminine leadership styles for executive–legislative relations and good governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)586-599
Number of pages14
JournalPolitical Research Quarterly
Volume71
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Keywords

  • decrees
  • Latin America
  • presidential approval
  • presidents and executive politics
  • women and politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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