Running Backwards and in High Heels Academic Article uri icon


  • The question of whether voter bias exists toward female politicians remains unsettled. Although anecdotal accounts of gender inequality abound, systematic research demonstrates that women "do as well as men" when they run. Previous work suggests that these conflicting observations result from an omitted variables problem. Specifically, if women are higher quality than men, and if quality is omitted from models of vote-share, then voter bias may be concealed. Using a unique measure of incumbents' political quality, the author's research documents a sex-based quality gap and importantly, is the first to link the quality gap to the gender parity in electoral success. © 2012 University of Utah.

altmetric score

  • 403.566

author list (cited authors)

  • Fulton, S. A.

citation count

  • 110

publication date

  • June 2012