Follow the Money: Gender, Incumbency, and Campaign Funding in Chile

Jennifer Piscopo, Magda Hinojosa, Gwynn Thomas, Peter Siavelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine women’s access to campaign resources using data from all 960 candidates competing in Chile’s 2017 legislative elections. Even when controlling for district characteristics, women candidates receive less money in party transfers, bank loans, and donations; place fewer personal funds in their campaigns; and have fewer resources overall. However, previous experience and incumbency narrow the gap. When women are newcomers, gender serves as an important cue about candidate quality and funders default to favoring men. Our results lend credence to practitioners’ claims that money disadvantages women candidates in democracies, but focuses attention on the disadvantage faced by women newcomers. Moreover, this gender gap in campaign funding exists despite a gendered electoral financing scheme designed to make political actors more likely to invest in women’s campaigns. While increasingly popular among development experts, our research suggests such schemes might be insufficient for equalizing campaign funding between men and women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-253
Number of pages32
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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