Data Set Description for Chapter 11: WhoGov

Data Exercise Contributor: Jens Wäckerle

Dataset-Chapter-11.utf8

The Who Governs (WhoGov) dataset is a comprehensive dataset of members of government from all countries in the world that have a population of more than 400,000. The dataset covers the years 1966 to 2016 and contains more than 50,000 cabinet members. This dataset was collected by Jacob Nyrup and Stuart Bramwell at Aarhus University and the University of Oxford.

The dataset can be accessed here. We will present the dataset below. While reading, please keep in mind the questions you see below and answer them once you reached the end. In the end, we will provide a link to a platform with an interactive version of the dataset and additional tasks.

Table 1: General Tasks for the Dataset
Tasks
Which ministries have women held primarily around the world?
Are women more likely to hold high or low-profile offices? Evaluate how this changes over time, drawing on examples from Germany.

Dataset Description

The WhoGov dataset exists in two forms: either as cross-sectional (by government), or as a long format with one row per member of government.

Cross-Sectional Data

The cross-sectional dataset has one row per year for each country in the dataset. Data is collected in July, so each row is a snapshot of the government composition for that country in the middle of the respective year. Table 2 shows some of the variables in the dataset. Besides the year and country name, we find the name of the head of government. Additionally, it lists the party of the government leader. Finally, we show two more variables: The share of women among cabinet members and the overall number of cabinet members. As chapter 7 in the book discusses in more detail, the share of women in cabinet positions has risen in recent years.

Table 2: Main Variables in the dataset
year country_name leader leader_party n_female_total n_individuals
2018 Sweden Stefan Lofven s 13 27
2018 United Kingdom Theresa Mary May con 12 33
2018 Norway Erna Solberg h 9 24
2018 Latvia Maris Kucinskis zzs 3 18
2018 Estonia Juri Ratas ek 5 19
2018 Australia Malcolm Bligh Turnbull lpa 6 29
2018 Denmark Lars Loekke Rasmussen v 11 26
2018 Luxembourg Xavier Bettel dp 4 19
2018 Belgium Charles Yvon Michel mr 3 18
2018 Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis disy 3 15

The dataset provides additional information on the governments: n_party shows the number of parties, while govern_name is the name of the government as per the ParlGov database described in chapter 6 and 10. govern_start_date and govern_end_date are also taken from ParlGov and system_category is a classification of regime type. The most common regime types in the dataset are civilian dictatorship, military dictatorship, parliamentary democracy and presidential democracy.

Table 3: Main Variables in the dataset
year country_name n_party govern_name govern_start_date govern_end_date system_category
2018 Sweden 2 Lofven 2014-10-02 2018-09-09 Parliamentary democracy
2018 United Kingdom 1 May II 2017-06-11 2019-07-24 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Norway 3 Solberg III 2018-01-17 2019-01-21 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Latvia 3 Kucinskis 2016-02-11 2019-01-23 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Estonia 3 Ratas 2016-11-20 2019-04-29 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Australia 4 Turnbull II 2016-07-19 2018-08-24 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Denmark 3 Rasmussen L III 2016-11-28 2019-06-27 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Luxembourg 3 Bettel 2013-12-04 2018-12-05 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Belgium 4 Michel 2014-10-11 2018-12-09 Parliamentary democracy
2018 Cyprus 1 Anastasiades III 2016-05-22 2018-02-13 Presidential democracy

Table 4 shows some variables that are calculated on the basis of the dataset: average_total is the average tenure of government members in years, while retention_rateadj_total is the share of government members that were retained from the previous year. Finally, age_total shows the average age of cabinet members.

Table 4: Main Variables in the dataset
year govern_name average_total retention_rateadj_total age_total
2018 Lofven 6.000000 0.8571429 53.32143
2018 May II 4.531250 0.7931034 53.02941
2018 Solberg III 4.304348 0.7083333 50.83333
2018 Kucinskis 6.352941 1.0000000 51.78947
2018 Ratas 4.388889 0.9473684 49.47368
2018 Turnbull II 4.464286 0.7812500 51.16216
2018 Rasmussen L III 6.160000 0.8846154 51.11538
2018 Bettel 6.944444 0.9473684 53.37500
2018 Michel 4.352941 0.8333333 55.68182
2018 Anastasiades III 3.214286 0.6666667 54.15385

The dataset also includes the names of the ministers in some of the ministries: finance, agriculture, defense and foreign affairs. These cabinet members are shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Main Variables in the dataset
year country_name m_finance m_agriculture m_defense m_foreignaffairs
2018 Sweden Magdalena Andersson Sven-Erik Bucht Peter Hultqvist Margot Wallstrom
2018 United Kingdom Philip Hammond Michael Gove Gavin Williamson Boris Johnson
2018 Norway Siv Jensen Jon Georg Dale Frank Bakke-Jensen Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide
2018 Latvia Dana Reizniece-Ozola Janis Duklavs Raimonds Bergmanis Edgars Rinkevics
2018 Estonia Toomas Toniste Na Juri Luik Sven Mikser
2018 Australia Scott John Morrison David Littleproud Marise Ann Payne Julie Isabel Bishop
2018 Denmark Kristian Jensen Jakob Ellemann-Jensen Claus Hjort Frederiksen Anders Samuelsen
2018 Luxembourg Pierre Gramegna Fernand Etgen Etienne Schneider Jean Asselborn
2018 Belgium Johan Van Overtveldt Denis Ducarme Steven Vandeput Didier Reynders
2018 Cyprus Charis Georgiadis Kostas Kadis Savvas Angelidis Nikos Christodoulidis

Within-country Data

In the within-country dataset, each cabinet member has one row for each year. That means that every member of the German government in July 2018 has one row, as shown in Table 6. If some of these members were already in cabinet in July 2017, they will be in the government again for that year. For each member, Table 6 show some basic demographic information: position, name, gender, birthyear and party.

Table 6: Main Variables in the within-country dataset
year country_name position name gender birthyear party
2018 Germany Fed. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier Male 1956 spd
2018 Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel Female 1954 cdu
2018 Germany Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz Male 1958 spd
2018 Germany Min. Of Defense Ursula Von Der Leyen Female 1958 cdu
2018 Germany Min. For Economic Cooperation & Development Gerd Mueller Male 1955 csu
2018 Germany Min. For Economics & Energy Peter Altmaier Male 1958 cdu
2018 Germany Min. For Education & Research Anja Karliczek Female 1971 cdu
2018 Germany Min. For The Environment, Nature Conservation & Reactor Security Svenja Schulze Female 1968 spd
2018 Germany Min. For Family, Seniors, Women & Youth Franziska Giffey Female 1978 spd
2018 Germany Min. Of Finance Olaf Scholz Male 1958 spd
2018 Germany Min. For Food & Agriculture Julia Kloeckner Female 1972 cdu
2018 Germany Min. Of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas Male 1966 spd
2018 Germany Min. For Health Jens Spahn Male 1980 cdu
2018 Germany Min. Of Interior, Building & Homeland Horst Seehofer Male 1949 csu
2018 Germany Min. Of Justice & Consumer Protection Katarina Barley Female 1968 spd
2018 Germany Min. For Labor & Social Affairs Hubertus Heil Male 1972 spd
2018 Germany Min. For Transportation & Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer Male 1974 csu
2018 Germany Chancellery Chief Helge Braun Male 1972 cdu
2018 Germany President, Bundesbank Jens Weidmann Male 1968 NA
2018 Germany Ambassador To The Us Emily Haber Female 1956 NA
2018 Germany Permanent Representative To The Un, New York Christoph Heusgen Male 1955 NA

The dataset also provides more information on the positions of each cabinet member: the name of the position, the classification, portfolio and prestige of the portfolio (low, medium, high), ash shown in Table 7. How positions are categorised into portfolio and prestige can be researched on the WhoGov website.

Table 7: Main Variables in the dataset
year country_name position name classification portfolio_1 prestige_1
2018 Germany Fed. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier President NA NA
2018 Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel Chief of State NA NA
2018 Germany Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz Deputy Chief of State NA NA
2018 Germany Min. Of Defense Ursula Von Der Leyen Minister (Full Rank) Defense, Military & National Security High
2018 Germany Min. For Economic Cooperation & Development Gerd Mueller Minister (Full Rank) Foreign Economic Relations Medium
2018 Germany Min. For Economics & Energy Peter Altmaier Minister (Full Rank) Energy Medium
2018 Germany Min. For Education & Research Anja Karliczek Minister (Full Rank) Education, Training & Skills Medium
2018 Germany Min. For The Environment, Nature Conservation & Reactor Security Svenja Schulze Minister (Full Rank) Environment Medium
2018 Germany Min. For Family, Seniors, Women & Youth Franziska Giffey Minister (Full Rank) Children & Family Low
2018 Germany Min. Of Finance Olaf Scholz Minister (Full Rank) Finance, Budget & Treasury High
2018 Germany Min. For Food & Agriculture Julia Kloeckner Minister (Full Rank) Agriculture, Food, Fisheries & Livestock Medium
2018 Germany Min. Of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas Minister (Full Rank) Foreign Relations High
2018 Germany Min. For Health Jens Spahn Minister (Full Rank) Health & Social Welfare Medium
2018 Germany Min. Of Interior, Building & Homeland Horst Seehofer Minister (Full Rank) Government, Interior & Home Affairs High
2018 Germany Min. Of Justice & Consumer Protection Katarina Barley Minister (Full Rank) General Economic Affairs Medium
2018 Germany Min. For Labor & Social Affairs Hubertus Heil Minister (Full Rank) Labor, Employment & Social Security Medium
2018 Germany Min. For Transportation & Digital Infrastructure Andreas Scheuer Minister (Full Rank) Transport Medium
2018 Germany Chancellery Chief Helge Braun Other NA NA
2018 Germany President, Bundesbank Jens Weidmann Governor (Central Bank) NA NA
2018 Germany Ambassador To The Us Emily Haber Ambassador to the United States NA NA
2018 Germany Permanent Representative To The Un, New York Christoph Heusgen Representative to the United Nations NA NA

Figure 1 shows an analysis of the kind of offices that women have held around the world. Prestige level is assigned to portfolios held by politicians in the dataset. The figure shows that around 25% of male cabinet members are assigned to high prestige portfolios, while women are assigned only to 12% and more often to low profile ones instead. More information can be found on the WhoGov website.

Figure 1: Prestige of Offices of Female Cabinet Ministers

Figure 1: Prestige of Offices of Female Cabinet Ministers

Figure 2 shows the portfolios that women are the most responsible for across the world in the complete dataset.