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Descriptive Representation, Policy Outcomes, and Municipal Day-Care Coverage in Norway
Kathleen A. Bratton and Leonard P. Ray
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 46, No. 2 (Apr., 2002), pp. 428-437
Published by: Midwest Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3088386
Page Count: 10
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Descriptive representation within legislatures is often held to be important because of its assumed effects on public policy. The research to date on the descriptive representation of women has generally focused on elite attitudes rather than on policy outcomes, and there is little agreement on the relationship between the increased representation of women and improved policy outcomes. We investigate the form of this relationship and whether the scope for a translation of descriptive representation into substantive representation is greatest during periods of policy innovation. We use a statistical analysis of child-care coverage in Norwegian municipalities in 1975, 1979, 1983, 1987, and 1991 to model the relationship between female representation and the provision of child care. We find that descriptive representation does affect policy outcome and that this relationship varies both according to the level of female representation and over time.
American Journal of Political Science © 2002 Midwest Political Science Association