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Are women more likely to throw the rascals out? The mobilizing effect of social service spending on female voters

Journal article
Authors Amy C Alexander
Andreas Bågenholm
Nicholas Charron
Published in Public Choice
ISSN 0048-5829
Publication year 2019
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Language en
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


This study focuses on gender differences in voter reactions to a corruption scandal in one’s preferred party. We analyze, in a framework of ‘exit, voice and loyalty’, whether women differ from men in terms of turnout (exit), and given that they vote, whether they prefer a clean alternative party (voice) or whether they continue to vote for their preferred party (loyalty) involved in a corruption scandal. We employ sequential logit models using data from the European Quality of Government Index (EQI) survey from 2017, which contains roughly 77,000 respondents from 21 EU countries and 185 regions. We find that women generally are less tolerant of corruption, but that the effect is highly conditional. In areas where social service spending is more widespread, we find that female respondents are more likely to vote for an alternative party. Yet the odds of exit increase among women when social service spending is lower.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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