Kalla, Joshua and Ethan Porter (2022), Can the Political Ambition of Young Women Be Increased? Evidence from U.S. High School Students, Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 17: No. 2, pp 259-281. DOI: 10.1561/100.00020106.
The under-representation of women in American politics can likely be explained, at least in part, by women's comparatively lower levels of political ambition. We analyze a co-ed, religious program for high school students in which participants lobby their Members of Congress and receive political skills training. By leveraging longitudinal survey data about the participants and a difference-in-differences design, we find that the program successfully increased the political ambition of its female participants. To the best of our knowledge, we offer the first quasi-experimental evidence demonstrating a possible means of increasing the political ambition of high school-aged American women. Our results demonstrate that female political ambition can be increased without relying on programs that explicitly focus on gender and ambition.
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