Previous research has established that men are more likely to vote for populist radical right parties (PRRPs) than women. This article shows how cross-national and temporal variations in PRRPs’ electoral success interact with individuals’ risk propensity to affect this gender gap. We hypothesize that gender differences in the electoral support of PRRPs stem from disparities in risk-taking. We conceptualize risk in terms of two components, social and electoral, and demonstrate that women are more risk-averse regarding both. Our analysis is based on public opinion data from 14 countries (2002–16) combined with macrolevel data on PRRPs’ past parliamentary fortunes. To distinguish between the social and electoral components in risk-taking, we use the illustrative case study of Germany. Findings demonstrate that gender differences in risk-taking and, by implication, the differences between women's and men's responses to the electoral context are key to understanding the voting gender gap.
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For helpful comments we thank Zoe Lafkofridi, Omer Yair, the participants of the European Conference on Politics and Gender 2019, and the editors and reviewers for their valuable feedback. The project was financially supported by the Israeli Science Foundation (751/18; 554/17). Odelia Oshri owes special thanks to Shaul Shenhav. AJPS
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