Risk Aversion and the Gender Gap in the Vote for Populist Radical Right Parties

Odelia Oshri, Liran Harsgor, Reut Itzkovitch-Malka, Or Tuttnauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Political Science
Early online date1 Feb 2022
StateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
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

Publisher Copyright:
©2022, Midwest Political Science Association.


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