Speaker: Daniele Paserman, Boston University
TITLE: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN COOPERATIVE ENVIRONMENTS? EVIDENCE FROM THE
This paper uses data on bill sponsorship and cosponsorship in the U.S. House of Representatives
to estimate gender differences in cooperative behavior. We employ a number of econometric
methodologies to address the potential selection of female representatives into electoral districts
with distinct preferences for cooperativeness, including regression discontinuity and matching.
After accounting for selection, we find that among Democrats there is no significant gender gap
in the number of cosponsors recruited, but women-sponsored bills tend to have fewer cosponsors
from the opposite party. On the other hand, we find robust evidence that Republican women
recruit more cosponsors and attract more bipartisan support on the bills that they sponsor. This is
particularly true on bills that address issues more relevant for women, over which female
Republicans have possibly preferences that are closer to those of Democrats. We interpret these
results as evidence that cooperation is mostly driven by a commonality of interest, rather than
gender per se.