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THE EFFECT OF GENDER ON CORRUPTION. Sorting out explanations for gender differences with new experimental research

Working paper
Authors Ina Kubbe
Amy C Alexander
Lena Wängnerud
Publication year 2019
Published at Quality of Government Institute (QoG)
Department of Political Science
Language en
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


An extensive literature demonstrates a relationship between gender and corruption, with women be-ing less involved in corrupt transactions than men. There are two major ways of explaining this cor-relation; one emphasizes differences between men and women in risk-aversion and the other differ-ences in pro-social behavior. However, whether there is support for these explanations is never di-rectly tested. We take advantage of one opportunity for gathering this evidence by replicating and extending a well-cited experimental study by Alatas et al. (2009). Through our extension of the Alatas et al. study, we were able to collect unique information on gender differences in rationalizations of experimental subjects’ behavior. The key finding is that we see significant gender differences in rea-sons for behavior: the results indicate risk-seeking behavior among men but not risk aversion among women. Instead, pro-social reasoning is apparent among women.

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