A Rational Choice Approach to Explaining Policy Preferences and Concern for Representing Women among State Legislators
Rational choice theory predicts that women, when significantly involved in the production of private competitive goods and services, will adopt the same self‐interested political orientation as similarly economically situated men. Guided by this approach, this nationwide survey of state legislators finds that competitive occupational background significantly reduces support for representing distributive–redistributive policy among both women and men legislators. However, it also finds that women legislators in general, as well as women holding leadership positions, retain a significant concern for representing women. Democratic Party affiliation and noncompetitive occupational background predict support for distributive–redistributive policies among women and men legislators, while only Democratic Party affiliation predicts concern for representing women among women and men legislators. Other explanatory variables (i.e., lower education, liberal ideology, African‐Americans, lower‐socioeconomic status districts, and political ambition) are in the direction hypothesized to influence representing distributive–redistributive policies and women but are not all statistically significant.
women State Legislators, women and politics, women and public policy, rational choice and women
Whistler, Donald E., and Mark C. Ellickson. "A rational choice approach to explaining policy preferences and concern for representing women among state legislators." Politics & Policy 38, no. 1 (2010): 25-51.
Politics & Policy