Consensus Builders? The Influence of Female Cabinet Ministers on the Duration of Parliamentary Governments

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Once entirely the province of men, government cabinets in democracies have featured greater gender diversity in recent years, with many governments featuring women in the most influential posts. This analysis examines the effect of gender diversity on one aspect of government performance: the duration of governments in parliamentary systems. I test the argument that women serving in complex task-oriented groups (in this case government cabinets), particularly when they hold influential roles, create the potential for parliamentary governments that tend to last longer than other governments. Using data drawn from 125 European cabinets across 13 countries, I test this argument and a series of controls using several hazard models and supplement these with simulations of various interesting empirical scenarios. I find nuanced support for this argument—greater numbers of women do matter, but only when women serve in influential premier ministerial posts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-652
Number of pages23
JournalPolitics and Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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