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Does female representation reduce all forms of corruption?

Conference contribution
Authors Monika Bauhr
Lena Wängnerud
Published in European Consortium of Political Research
Publication year 2016
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Language en
Links https://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails...
Keywords corruption, female representation, gender
Subject categories Political Science

Abstract

Are women less corrupt than men? While recent research suggests that women are less likely to be involved in corruption than men and that a higher share of women elected tends to be inversely related to the level of corruption, most dominant approaches focus on the scale of the corruption problem, i.e. how much corruption there is, rather than its vastly different forms. This paper suggests that gender differences can be better explained if we distinguish between different forms of corruption. Building on a distinction developed by Bauhr (2012; 2016) between need corruption (corruption to gain access to “fair” treatment) and greed corruption (corruption to gain access to special illicit advantages), we suggest that women are more likely than men to perceive greed corruption as prevalent in society and to mobilize against greed corruption once they attain public office. Women condemn greed corruption in part because women are typically excluded from participation in this particular form of corruption, since opaque and collusive networks, rather than open transactions and extortion drive greed corruption. Women are therefore more likely to be excluded from the short-term individual benefits of greed corruption, and more likely to experience its long-term detrimental effects on public service delivery. Our argument is supported by a preliminary analysis using new regional level data across European countries.

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