There is evidence that age matters in politics. In this paper we study whether implementation of affirmative action policies on gender can generate additional effects on an alternative dimension of representation, namely, the age of politicians. We consider an Italian law which introduced gender quotas in candidate lists for local elections in 1993, and was abolished in 1995. As not all municipalities went through elections during this period, we can identify two groups of municipalities and use a Difference in differences estimation to analyze the effect of gender quotas on the age of elected politicians. We find that gender quotas are associated with election of politicians that are younger by more than one year. The effect occurs mainly due to the reduction in age of elected male politicians and is consistent with the optimizing behavior of parties or of voters.
gender quotas municipal elections difference in differences age