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QoG lunch seminar with Pablo Fernández-Vázquez

Society and economy

“Does Electing Women Reduce Corruption? The Impact of Legislative Gender Quotas in Spain”

3 Nov 2021
12:00 - 13:00
Stora Skansen (room B336), Sprängkullsgatan 19

Pablo Fernández-Vázquez, Department of Social Sciences Carlos III, University of Madrid.
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The QoG institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions.

All seminars are held in English unless stated otherwise.

The Quality of Government institute

Previous studies uncovered a negative relationship between the proportion of women in public office and corruption. These findings have inspired anti-corruption programs around the world. It remains unclear, however, whether there is a causal link between the share of women in office and malfeasance. For instance, gender differences in political experience or access to corruption networks can explain this relationship. We leverage the gradual implementation of gender quotas in Spain to isolate the effects of female descriptive representation on public misconduct and adjudicate between alternative explanations. The analyses suggest a causal link between gender and malfeasance in office: the reform generated an exogenous increase in the share of women elected, which led to a decrease in corruption that was sustained over time. This finding enhances our understanding of the effect of public officials' characteristics on policy outcomes, and of the role of parity laws in promoting political change.