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Jeanette Ashe and Kennedy Stewart, "Legislative recruitment: Using diagnostic testing to explain underrepresentation," Party Politics, 18 (September 2012), 687-707. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
Why women, minorities or other social groups so seldom secure a share of legislative seats proportionate to the group's share of the population is a long-standing puzzle in political science. The main approach used to understand underrepresentation involves investigating how social groups flow through the legislative recruitment process, frequently described as a series of connected stages beginning when party members apply to stand as candidates and ending when candidates are elected. Scholars interested in explaining underrepresentation often frame their research using a supply and demand metaphor. Despite this common framework, there is no consensus among scholars as to whether supply-side or demand-side factors play a larger role in causing the underrepresentation of particular social groups.

Figures and Tables:
Figure 1. Legislative Recruitment Process Stages and Participants
Figure 2. Diagnostic Overview
Table 1. Supply Test 2 Results
Table 2. Supply Test 5 Results
Table 3. Demand Test 6 Results
Table 4. BC Diagnostic Test Outcomes
Table 5. Variables, Measures, Descriptive Statistics and Relation Tests (n = 77)
Table 6. Logistic Regression Results (Dependent Variable: Won =1, Lost =0)
Table 7. Predicted Hypothetical Race Outcomes

Last Paragraph:
(first paragraph of concluding section) This article provides both BC-specific and general lessons pertaining to the underrepresentation of social groups in legislatures. The BC testing shows that women and visible minorities were underrepresented in 2005 due to demand-side discrimination by different party gatekeepers during different recruitment process stages. However, three general lessons generated by this research may prove more important to those wishing to better understand underrepresentation outside of BC.

Last updated August 2012