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Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980-1992

Chaney, Carole and Alvarez, R. Michael and Nagler, Jonathan (1996) Explaining the Gender Gap in U.S. Presidential Elections, 1980-1992. Social Science Working Paper, 979. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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This paper compares the voting behavior of women and men in presidential elections since 1980 to test competing explanations for the gender gap. We show that, consistent with prior research on individual elections, women placed more emphasis on the national economy than men, and men placed more emphasis on pocketbook voting than women. We add evidence showing that women have consistently more negative assessments of the economy than do men, suggesting that a part of what has been considered a Republican-Democratic gender gap is really an anti-incumbent bias on the part of women. Our multivariate analysis demonstrates that neither the differences between men and women's preferences nor emphasis on any single issue explains the significant gender gap in vote choice; but that a combination of respondent views on the economy, social programs, military action, abortion, and ideology can consistently explain at least three-fourths of the gender gap in the 1984, 1988, and 1992 elections. We also clarify the interpretation of partisan identification in explaining the gender gap.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription version published in Political Research Quarterly
Alvarez, R. Michael0000-0002-8113-4451
Additional Information:An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1996 Midwest Political Science Association Meeting; Chicago, Illinois, April. 1996. Comments are welcome. Published as Chaney, C.K., Alvarez, R.M., & Nagler, J. (1998). Explaining the gender gap in US presidential elections, 1980-1992. Political Research Quarterly, 51(2), 311-339.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:979
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170815-162353811
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:80449
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:16 Aug 2017 16:42
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:35

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