Women and corruption: What positions must they hold to make a difference?

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September 4, 2018

Women and corruption: What positions must they hold to make a difference?

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This paper in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization - Volume 151 examines in what roles women have an impact on corruption by focusing on female labor force participation and their presence in the parliament. Since much of the corruption literature is plagued either by the lack of instruments or weak instruments, this paper makes a methodological contribution by drawing inferences based on Moreira’s (2003) conditional likelihood ratio approach. We provide robust evidence that women’s presence in parliament has a causal and negative impact on corruption while other measures of female participation in economic activities are shown to have no effect. Further, this negative relationship between women’s presence in government and corruption is also found to hold in a regional analysis of 17 European countries alleviating concerns that the relationship is driven by unobservable country-fixed characteristics. Finally, we show that this relationship does not disappear when women gain similarity in social status.

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July 2018