Gaëtan Fournier : gaetan.fournier[at]univ-amu.fr
Raghul Venkatesh : raghul.venkatesh[at]univ-amu.fr
This article investigates the short and long-term side-effects of gender quotas applied to elections in single-member districts. I exploit gender quotas introduced in the French parliamentarian elections in 1997 and 2002. Using elections data from 1979 to 2017 and a difference-in-differences strategy, I show that gender quotas lead to strategic nominations of female candidates in the most difficult constituencies. These strategies gradually disappear for the main left-wing party while they persist up to 15 years later for the main right-wing party. I provide evidence that (i) these strategic nominations are not due to the persistence of incumbents but are consistent with a gender bias and (ii) political parties have different propensities to discriminate against women. From a public policy perspective, the findings suggest that gender quotas applied to elections in single-member districts are not doomed to failure.