The Jackie (and Jill) Robinson Effect: Why Do Congresswomen Outperform
Sarah Anzia & Christopher Berry
American Journal of Political Science, forthcoming
Abstract: If voters are biased against female candidates, only the most talented,
hardest working female candidates will succeed in the electoral process. Furthermore, if women perceive there to be sex discrimination in the electoral process, or if they underestimate their qualifications for office, then only the most qualified, politically ambitious females will emerge as candidates. We argue that when either or both forms of sex-based selection are present, the women who are elected to office will perform better, on average, than their male counterparts. We test this central implication of our theory by studying the relative success of men and women in delivering federal spending to their districts and in sponsoring legislation. Analyzing changes within districts over time, we find that congresswomen secure roughly 9 percent more spending from federal discretionary programs than congressmen. Women also sponsor and cosponsor significantly more bills than their male colleagues.
Who Does More Housework: Rich or Poor? A Comparison of 33 Countries
Jan Paul Heisig
American Sociological Review, February 2011, Pages 74-99
Abstract: This article studies the relationship between household income and housework time across 33 countries. In most countries, low-income individuals do more housework than their high-income counterparts; the differences are even greater for women’s domestic work time. The analysis shows that the difference between rich and poor women’s housework time falls with economic development and rises with overall economic inequality. I use a cross-national reinterpretation of arguments from the historical time-use literature to show that this is attributable to the association between economic development and the diffusion of household technologies and to the association between economic inequality and the prevalence of service consumption among high-income households. Results for a direct measure of technology diffusion provide striking evidence for the first interpretation. The findings question the widespread notion that domestic technologies have had little or no impact on women’s housework time. On a general level, I find that gender inequalities are fundamentally conditioned by economic inequalities. A full understanding of the division of housework requires social scientists to go beyond couple-level dynamics and situate households and individuals within the broader social and economic structure.
(Nod to Kevin Lewis)