The last decade has seen an expansion of party primaries as a means of selecting legislative candidates. Since primaries are rarely subsidized, well-resourced candidates have a considerable advantage, which has an impact on equality, diversity and representation. This article focuses on the well-regulated legislative primaries in Israel, examining the gender gap in campaign expenditures, and its implication for the success of women candidates. The analysis is based on data regarding 365 candidates (97 women and 268 men) who competed in seven primary contests in three parties between 2008 and 2015. Our findings show that male candidates spend on average more than female candidates do. However, this difference is pronounced among new candidates only. Moreover, we find that men do better than women in terms of electoral success and that this electoral advantage is explained by the differences in campaign expenses and the share of incumbents between women and men.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.
- candidate selection
- gender gap
- Political finance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations