Diana O'Brien's "Do Women Make More Protectionist Trade Policy?" was accepted by APSR

"Do Women Make More Protectionist Trade Policy?"


Women have more protectionist trade preferences than men. We assess whether this well-documented relationship between gender and protectionism in the mass public carries over into a relationship between women’s political representation and (i) party platforms, and (ii) governments’ trade policy choices. Looking across countries and over time, we show that with an increase in women’s representation, political party trade policy positions become more protectionist. For government trade policy choices, we identify more nuanced results. The protectionist effect of women’s representation is limited to consumption products, where protectionism is most visible to voters, firm demands for trade liberalization are muted, and policy makers are thus less constrained in implementing a protectionist agenda. The analyses add a new dimension to our understanding of trade policy making. Given the broad political and economic effects of trade, these results also point to new, wide-ranging implications of increases in women’s representation for domestic and international politics.

Read the full paper here