Gender quota and parliamentary performance in the European Parliament

 

In collaboration with Elena Frech (University of Geneva)

 

 

This project explores the effects of gender quotas in European elections on the parliamentary performance of Members of European Parliament (MEPs). Opponents argue that quotas deteriorate the quality political institutions because under qualified candidates enter politics at the expense of more qualified politicians. Supporters, by contrast, claim that diversity improves political decisions and increases legitimacy. We explore this relationship between gender quotas and parliamentary performance. More specifically examine whether MEPs elected in states or parties with a binding minimum representation of women on the electoral lists perform on par with their colleagues on the floor of parliament. Few studies have explored how quotas affect legislators’ behaviour (but see Chaney 2006, Piscopo 2011, Murray 2012, Wang 2014), and hardly any of them shed light on its effect in the European Parliament.