Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2022

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Political Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The underrepresentation of women remains an issue worldwide. Scholars have argued that voters and party elites are both partly responsible for the gender imbalance in politics. I posit that co-partisan candidates may also have a share of the blame. These politicians can endorse and contribute to the campaigns of their colleagues. If co-partisans are biased against women, they are also responsible for women's underrepresentation. Based on multiple studies in Brazil, I show evidence in favor of my argument. First, using an original dataset of endorsements via social media, I demonstrate that endorsements are positively associated with electoral performance. What is more, I uncover that co-partisan candidates are less likely to endorse their women colleagues. Second, I analyze candidate-to-candidate contribution data, the primary source of resources for the plurality of legislative candidates between 2006 and 2018. I find that women candidates receive less in contributions from other candidates. Finally, I examine data from an experimental study where the subjects were actual candidates. I discover that co-partisan candidates believe that women colleagues are less likely to receive support from party leaders and less likely to win. However, the same respondents say they would contribute to and endorse women colleagues. Differences between men and women candidates can explain my observational and experimental findings. Specifically, only men co-partisans are biased against their women colleagues.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Brian F. Crisp

Committee Members

Tiffany Barnes


Update embargo

Available for download on Monday, May 20, 2052