When Identity trumps Class: Women, Workers and Statistical Representation under Low Party Gatekeeping
Are there trade-offs in the representation of women and workers? I analyze Italian archival data to examine how an exogenous increase in the number of women in elected office affects legislature class composition. For this, I leverage an natural experiment, in which some municipalities temporarily introduced gender quotas on party lists in the mid-1990s. Findings show that having a singular election with a gender quota has positive effects on the descriptive representation of women who belong to the lower-middle and working classes. The political opportunities of upper-middle class women were unaffected by the quota, as are those of working class men. Instead, it is middle class men who lose out as a result of quota adoption. Results highlight that—in contexts characterized by low levels of party gate-keeping—gender parity rules can work to bolster the prevalence of social groups that are the most under-represented in politics. And that when this occurs, these improvements come mainly at the cost of groups that are traditionally over-represented.
Trust in Action: Cooperation, Information and Social Policy Preferences in Italy (w. Francesco Colombo)
What happens to people’s social policy preferences when their expectations concerning collective behavior are met or even exceeded? Conversely, what happens when their these expectations are unmet, and trust is thereby breached? Drawing on the first Italian COVID-19 lockdown as a massive exercise in collective action, this study tests how information on lockdown compliance rates causally affects the social policy preferences of Italian voters, conditional on their pre-treatment levels of trust. Examining social policy preferences across multiple dimensions, we find that trust is most closely linked to attitudes towards transfer generosity rather than to preferences regarding policy universalism and conditionality. Results highlight that neutral, fact-based information on cooperation levels can affect social policy preferences, and that the direction of attitude change depends on whether one’s trust has been met or breached.
Second Class Citizens: Class Bias and Electoral Formulas in Proportional Representation
Social Class Standing and Fiscal Policy Enactment among Italian Mayors’’ (with Pietro Panizza)
Trade Unions and Electoral Support for Left Parties in Sweden (1986-2018) (with Jonas Pontusson)
The Politics of Bad Options: Why the Problems of the Eurozone are so Hard to Resolve (2020). With Stefanie Walter and Nils Redeker. Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-517-00393-7.
Altered Risks or Static Divides? Labor Market Inequality during the Great Recession (2020). With Hanna Schwander. Florence: Max Weber Working Paper No. 2020/9.