Shattering the Marble Ceiling: A Research Note on Women-Friendly State Legislative Districts*

Nicholas Pyeatt, Alixandra B. Yanus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Palmer and Simon's (2008) “women-friendly” district index has proven a useful theoretical and empirical construct for researchers studying congressional elections. In one parsimonious measure, the authors capture 12 factors predicting women's election to the House of Representatives. The construct's utility in other political contexts, however, has not yet been tested. Methods: We test the women-friendliness index using a new data set on state legislative elections. Results: We find that the women-friendly district index is useful for predicting the election of women in state legislatures. The index's predictive power is robust to institutional variations and surpasses other contextual indicators, such as political culture. Conclusions: Our analysis suggests that “women friendliness” is a useful empirical concept with application in multiple political contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1108-1118
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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