Parties, quotas, and competence
What happens when political parties use gender quotas for drawing up their lists of candidates? This question addressed Torsten Persson (University of Stockholm) at the Second WZB Distinguished Lecture in Social Sciences on May, 23. Persson showed that gender quotas not only create a better balance between men and women, but may also reduce the number of incompetent candidates. His talk is now available on video.
Persson built a unique data set with data on all political candidates, in all parties, in all Swedish municipalities, since 1988. Especial interesting is the “zipper” placement which was implemented by the Social Democratic Party in 1993. The data confirm many theoretical assumptions, in particular the relation of quotas and the raise of candidate’s competence.
Torsten Persson is Professor of Economics at Stockholm University. He was a member of the nobel prize committee for ten years, three of which as its chairman.
The video of the lecture will be published within the next days.