An unexpected barrier to political candidacy? Gender, discouragement, and candidate persistence.

29 Feb 2024

A procedural rule requiring candidates to pay a monetary deposit to participate in an election exists in roughly half of the democracies in the world. The rationale behind this is to filter out ‘non-serious’ candidates. In our Thought Leadership Series webinar, Associate Professor Marco Faravelli and Dr Umair Khalil discussed the case of India, the world’s largest democracy with an electorate of almost 900 million people.

Presenters demonstrated that this rule unintendedly diminishes female candidates’ likelihood of contesting in the next election by 60% relative to those women who manage to keep their deposit. A survey conducted by Associate Professor Faravelli and Dr Khalil shows that voters are unlikely to penalise female forfeiters, suggesting instead that male-dominated parties may punish them, withdrawing their nominations.

Meet the presenters

Dr Vera te Velde, School of Economics, UQDr Vera te Velde, UQ School of Economics
Dr Vera te Velde is a senior lecturer in the UQ School of Economics, which she joined in 2014. She specializes in behavioural and experimental economics research, studying how people make decisions in social contexts, such as in the presence of social norms or social pressure, or with consideration for altruism, reciprocity, or collective goals. She is particularly interested in how these phenomena affect all aspects of the political process.


Associate Professor Marco Faravelli, UQ School of EconomicsBlack and white headshot of Associate Professor Marco Faravelli
Associate Professor Marco Faravelli is an Associate Professor of economics at The University of Queensland. His main field of interest lies at the intersection between experimental and political economics. He applies experimental methods in the lab, online, and in the field to study various social and political issues. Associate Professor Faravelli has key interests in voting and elections. He received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh, UK.


Dr Umair Khalil, Deakin UniversityHeadshot of Dr Umair Khalil
Dr Umair Khalil is a Senior Lecturer of Economics at Deakin University. His research focuses on social issues of policy interest in the areas of health economics, political economy, and the economics of crime. His work has appeared in leading economics journals such as the Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Urban Economics, and the Journal of Health Economics. Dr Khalil received his PhD from the University of Rochester, New York.