Project Description: Over the past thirty years, the number of women elected to legislatures worldwide has risen dramatically and varies widely across countries. Why? This project studies women's political representation at both the selection and election stage of the legislative recruitment process in Latin America. The project develops a comprehensive theoretical framework that articulates explanations for the selection of female candidates to party ballots and women's election from those party ballots to legislative seats. The project also collects cross-national data at the party and candidate-level for legislative elections in 18 Latin American countries (both legislative chambers) since the country's transitions to democracy or the most recent year for which data are available. It will use these data to test the empirical implications of the proposed theory.

This project is funded, in part, by a Rice University Faculty Initiative Fund Grant (2014) and a Rice Social Science Research Initiative Grant (2015).


Project Description: In the early 2000's, a set of studies found that higher levels of women's representation in government was associated with lower levels of corruption in that government. However, more recent research suggests that this relationship is not universal and questions exactly why it might exist. In collaboration with Justin Esarey (Rice University), this project is developing several papers establishing the conditions under which women's representation is in fact associated with lower levels of corruption, determining whether it is women's representation that causes less corruption or less corrupt governments that facilitate greater representation of women, and assessing the specific reasons why women's representation and corruption are linked.