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We study data on the gender of over 21,000 unique candidates in all Canadian federal elections since 1921, when the first women ran for seats in Parliament. This large dataset allows us to compute precise estimates of the difference in the electoral fortunes of men and women candidates. When accounting for party effects and time trends, we find that the difference between the vote shares of men and women is substantively negligible (±0.5 percentage point). This gender gap was larger in the 1920s (±2.5 percentage points), but it is now statistically indistinguishable from zero. Our results have important normative implications: Political parties should recruit and promote more women candidates, because they remain under-represented in Canadian politics, and because they do not suffer from a substantial electoral penalty.
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