Within-party sex gaps in expenditure preferences among Flemish local politicians

Research output: Working paper


The sex gap in politics is widely documented: women tend to support left-wing parties more than men do. Evidence of this observation was recently supplemented by the identification of a within-party sex gap: within parties, female voters and politicians tend to take more left-wing positions. While this research typically limits itself to one policy area or one political party, we provide more broad-based evidence of within-party sex gaps among Flemish local politicians by covering a broad set of policy domains and six political parties. Our focus is on expenditure preferences. Analyzing stated preferences of 1,055 council members, we find that—across parties—female politicians have more leftist preferences than their male colleagues in six out of eight policy domains. Crucially, sex differences also occur within parties. We identify significant within-party sex gaps in four out of eight policy domains. Female representatives express preferences that are more left wing than their male colleagues with respect to public spending on crime, culture, and welfare. For environmental spending, they take a more right-wing position.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGender & Politics
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)1743-9248
ISBN (Print)1743-923X
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2019

Publication series

NamePolitics and Gender
ISSN (Print)1743-923X


  • Within-party sex gaps
  • expenditure
  • preferences

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Within-party sex gaps in expenditure preferences among Flemish local politicians'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this