It has been argued that economic development and democracy create new opportunities and resources for women to access political power, which should increase gender equality in politics. However, empirical evidence from previous research that supports this argument is mixed. The contribution of this study is to expand the research on gender equality in politics through an in-depth examination of the effect of development and democracy on gender equality in cabinets. This has been completed through separate analyses that include most of the countries in the world across three levels of development and across different types of political regimes. The results demonstrate that economic development and democracy only affect gender equality in cabinets positively in a few environments. Accordingly, the context is important and there seem to be thresholds before development and democracy have any effect. Development has a positive effect in developed countries and in democracies, but it has a negative effect in dictatorships, and the negative effect is strongest in military dictatorships. The level of democracy has a positive effect mainly in dictatorships, and the strongest effect is in civilian dictatorships. The article demonstrates the importance of dividing samples into subsets to increase understanding of what affects women's representation in cabinets in different environments, and I ask scholars to subset samples and run separate analyses more often in comparative studies
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DOI 10.1017/s1468109915000225
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