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31 Comp. Pol. Stud. 3 (1998)

handle is hein.journals/compls31 and id is 1 raw text is: 






Gender quotas represent a commonly advocated method by which to address the severe
underrepresentation of women in the world's legislatures. This study analyzes the effect of
gender quota laws on the election of women legislators. It also examines the extent to which
other electoral rules can influence the effect of quotas on the election of women. Argentina's
provinces employ a wide variety of electoral law arrangements for the election of their provincial
legislatures, thereby providing a unique population with which to explore the effect of quotas.
The use of a gender quota law is found to have a significant positive impact on the percentage
of women elected to the Argentine provincial legislatures. At the same time, the type of party
list used is found to have a potent influence on the efficacy of gender quota laws in increasing
the percentage of women elected. The study provides considerable support for the position of
gender quota advocates. It also suggests that reformers must pay close attention to the institu-
tional environment in which a quota law is being implemented.






     GENDER QUOTAS, ELECTORAL LAWS,

               AND THE ELECTION OF WOMEN

               Lessons From the Argentine Provinces



                                                         MARK P. JONES
                                                Michigan   State University





T he percentage of women representatives in a legislature is of funda-
      mental  importance. First, women's  presence in a legislature has signifi-
cant policy consequences.  Women legislators   are more likely than their male
colleagues  to represent women's   interests and to support legislation that is
beneficial to women  (Carroll, Dodson,  & Mandel,  1991; Dodson   et al., 1995;
Saint-Germain,   1989; Sinkkonen   & Haavio-Mannila,   1981; Thomas,   1994).


AUTHOR'S NOTE: Lisa Baldez,  Mala Htun, Ruth S. Jones, Richard E. Matland, Michael
Mintrom, and Donley T Studlar provided many helpful comments and suggestions. I thank Marta
Valle and Silvia Piieiro, both of the Argentine Ministry of the Interior as well as Mabel Maidana
for their tremendous assistance in gathering the materials used in this article. This research was
supported by grants from the Michigan State University Political Institutions and Public Choice
Program and from the Michigan State University Center for Advanced Study of International
Development and Women and International Development Program.
COMPARATIVE  POLITICAL STUDIES, Vol. 31 No. 1, February 1998 3-21
@ 1998 Sage Publications, Inc.
                                                                             3


from the SAGE Social Science Collections. All Rights Reserved.

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