Study finds less corruption in countries where more women are in government

Study finds less corruption in countries where more women are in government
"This research underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles and their representation in government, said Sudipta Sarangi, an economics professor and department head at Virginia Tech. "This is especially important in light of the fact that women remain underrepresented in politics in most countries including the United States." Credit: Virginia Tech

A greater representation of women in the government is bad news for corruption, according to a new study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization by researchers Chandan Jha of Le Moyne College and Sudipta Sarangi of Virginia Tech.

In a cross-country analysis of over 125 countries, this study finds that is lower in countries where a greater share of parliamentarians are . The study further finds that women's representation in local politics is important too—the likelihood of having to bribe is lower in regions with a greater representation of women in local-level politics in Europe.

"This research underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles and their representation in government, said Sarangi, an economics professor and department head at Virginia Tech. "This is especially important in light of the fact that women remain underrepresented in politics in most countries including the United States."

Less than a quarter of the members of the U.S. Senate are women and only 19 percent of the women in the U.S. House of Representatives are women. It is also noteworthy that the United Stated never had a women head or president.

The authors speculate that women policymakers are able to have an impact on corruption because they choose different policies from men. An extensive body of prior research shows that women politicians choose policies that are more closely related to the welfare of women, children, and family.

The relationship is robust to the inclusion of a number of other control variables including economic, cultural, and institutional factors. The study also uses a statistical technique, known as the Instrumental Variable analysis, to account for the confounding factors and to establish causality in the relationship. After all it is possible that it is corruption that drives women's participation in politics and not the other way around!

The authors maintain that while the gender-corruption relationship has been studied before, the previous studies suffered from the critique that the relationship between women's representation in government and corruption was not shown to be causal.

Jha and Sarangi's research is the most comprehensive study on this topic and looks at the implications of the presence of women in other occupations as including the shares of women in the labor force, clerical positions, and decision making positions such as the CEOs and other managerial positions. The study finds that women's presence in these occupations is not significantly associated with corruption, suggesting that it is the policymaking role through which women are able to have an impact on corruption.

Sometimes it is believed that the relationship between gender and corruption may disappear as women gain similarity in social status. This is presumably because as the status of women improves, they get access to the networks of corruption and at the same time learn the know-how of engaging in corrupt activities. The results of this study, however, indicate otherwise: the relationship between women's representation in parliament and corruption is stronger for countries where women enjoy a greater equality of status. Once again, this finding further suggests that it's policymaking through which women are able to impact corruption.

Jha and Sarangi's study warns that these results do not necessarily mean that women are inherently less corrupt. In fact, their findings suggest otherwise. If women are indeed less corrupt, then there should be a significant negative correlation between all these measures of female participation and corruption.

The policy implications of the study point towards the need for promoting gender equality in general and promoting the presence of women in politics in particular. Previous research has established that a greater presence of women in government is associated with better education and health outcomes.


Explore further

Are women less corrupt? New study suggests it depends on cultural expectations

More information: Chandan Kumar Jha et al, Women and corruption: What positions must they hold to make a difference?, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.03.021
Provided by Virginia Tech
Citation: Study finds less corruption in countries where more women are in government (2018, June 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-corruption-countries-women.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
120 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jun 15, 2018
Also the social definition of corruption matters. To the altright fairytails Hilary Clinton's errors and misjudgements are treasonous high crimes against their little weewee's.

Trump's sordid sexual escapades (spanky time!) against a multitude of women and children are just "boys being boys". Even the male evangelists have to cover their eyes and cover their ears and hold their noses. Simultaneously... it's a miracle!

"Greed is Good", "War is profitable" "Extinction is preferable to ever admitting we are wrong" Have become the latest agitprop slogans for fake conservatives and fraudulent libertarians.

Who cower under their bed with the quislings and copperheads. All terrified at the realization they are fossilizing retarded redundant's in this Modern Age.

Jun 15, 2018
" To the altright fairytails Hilary Clinton's errors and misjudgements are treasonous high crimes against their little weewee's."

RR your ability dismiss Hillary's actions while condemning Trump's actions while he was a private citizen just highlights the Progressive Left's inability to form rational judgements. Your liberal beliefs are closer to a religion than to developed reasoning.

Jun 16, 2018
Well MR666, as your anon displays your religious worship groveling before the altar of mammon. Bewailing that the trumplestiltskins criminal and treasonous history is being exposed to the Light of Justice. As you sob to your demon master about how little respect you have earned in your pitiful life.

It is amazing to watch you quislings and copperheads proudly boast that your ignorance of geography and inability to understand even the basic sciences? Are proof of your politically correct, ideological purity.

Jun 16, 2018
RR I suggest that you take a nice one week vacation in Venezuela and see how well your progressive religion is doing in real life.

Jun 16, 2018
MR166 - you refer to Venezuela as being "progressive." Could you explain please. A quick look at articles like this - https://www.vox.c...collapse suggest that under Chavez - you were looking at more socialist policies - and -
Venezuela's unemployment rate halved, income per capita more than doubled, the poverty rate fell by more than half, education improved, and infant mortality rates declined
Maduro seems much more authoritarian - right wing - and the country is plunged into economic crisis.

comments...

Jun 16, 2018
Good try Onions. Trying to link socialism to the right is quite the impossible task.

Jun 16, 2018
The US liberals fawned over Venezuela's path to socialism. Sean Penn who was a Hollywood cheerleader for the movement is quite silent now. This is very similar to the Communist takeover of Cuba. Castro was on US TV raising money. The Progressives never learn.

Jun 16, 2018
"Less than a quarter of the members of the U.S. Senate are women and only 19 percent of the women in the U.S. House of Representatives are women."
Only 19 percent of the women are women? I doubt they are predominantly transgender and my mind boggles at other possibilities.

Jun 16, 2018
MR
Trying to link socialism to the right is quite the impossible task
I think these things are way more complex than childish thinkers like yourself will admit. Maduro is clearly a very authoritarian ruler. I don't think the word progressive fits at all with a dictator. If you look at how trump is now acting - I think he has a lot in common with authoritarian dictators - such as Maduro/Duterte/Putin etc. So if there is no link as you assert - how is Trump so enamoured with Putin/Duterte etc. Why not address the contradiction that I highlighted - being that you suggest that 'progressive' policies have created the economic chaos of Venezuela, when it seems that chaos has arisen under an authoritarian dictator.

Jun 16, 2018
"Maduro is clearly a very authoritarian ruler. "

In other words if a new socialist government were ever to work our it is a progressive idea. But in the countries were it fails horribly it is a right wing movement.

I now understand how you can believe all the models presented to validate AGW. Failures are never a progressive's fault!!!

Jun 16, 2018
You see Onions all of these socialist revolutionaries that the left supports have a nasty habit turning into horrid dictators. Yet the left continues to support them in the hopes of finding Utopia.

Jun 17, 2018
An extensive body of prior research shows that women politicians choose policies that are more closely related to the welfare of women, children, and family.


I wonder what the world would have been like if people were more rational, religion didn't exist and all politicians were woman?

We'd be through the singularity by now! :-)

Jun 18, 2018
Women in government don't care about men. They are queen bees and we would be their disposable slave drones. Women in power will destroy our economies and borders. Women are not as cunning as men. They are easy to deceive because logic and emotion are intertwined. The bigger bridge between their brain lobes means they can be distracted from logic with emotion. They won't stand their ground. When things get tough they tuck tail and run or look for a man to fix their problems.

Jun 18, 2018
BS, yep in the several different meanings of BS...

You should be asking your mommy to buy the pull-up diapers for your use. Those old fashion diaper pins she is now using on you? Keep coming loose and pegging you into prepubescent bedlam.

And don't worry about anyone expecting you to be competent to deal with any of life's problems. You just stay hiding there in your playpen and those nasty responsibilities of adulthood will pass you bye.

Jun 18, 2018
MR
You see Onions all of these socialist revolutionaries that the left supports have a nasty habit turning into horrid dictators
I agree with MR. Why don't you talk about the horrid dictators that are supported by the right? https://www.alter...-america

The bigger point MR is that geo-politics are not as black and white as you seem intent on believing. There is no left wing in the U.S. - just right wing, and center right. However - contrary to your rose colored glasses - the Republicans are every bit as ready to support a killer - as the dems.

Jun 18, 2018
The economic issues of Venezuela have three main sources;

1) a decade and a half of continual economic attacks by Wall Street, currency speculators, and the country's own rich upper class
2) an artificially depressed price for their main export as the Saudi royalty tries to pump their own country dry before they're removed from power
3) the worst drought in over a century.

In spite of this Maduro recently won reelection by a large margin in free and fair elections, since much of the population remembers life under Washington DC's friends. He has continued most of Chavez's policies uninterrupted, with healthcare and education for the poor, potable water, sewer and electrification for all, and the like. Hopefully the drought will break soon.

Jun 18, 2018
Free and fair elections, my ass.

Jun 18, 2018
Ok, I'll bite, Otto. What did you think was free and fair about the most recent Venezuelan election?

Jun 19, 2018
"There is no left wing in the U.S. "

Onions if you think that the likes of Nancy Pelosi et all are centrists then you must be part of the radical left whether you realize it or not.

Jun 19, 2018
As far as who is the war monger in the US goes that is controlled by the military industrial complex AKA Deep State. President Eisenhower warned the people about their danger back in the 50s. BTW the Democrats no longer stand for peace in any way shape or form. You would have to be brain dead not to see what has happened in the last 20 years or so.

Jun 19, 2018
MR
Onions if you think that the likes of Nancy Pelosi et all are centrists then you must be part of the radical left whether you realize it or not.
I do think Dems are centrists - even to the right of center. I would consider myself radical. I believe that the neo liberal capitalist system is a total failure - and strong left wing politics would be presenting alternatives. You are correct - those of us who think this way are very marginal - in a system that does not have good education - and does not tolerate alternative ideas. Here is an example of the kind of thing I am interested in - https://www.resil...rmation/

Big problem with conservatives is their schizophrenia. They support freedom - unless they don't (marijuana for example). They support free markets - unless they don't - etc. etc. Too blinded by their religions.

Jun 19, 2018
Democrats no longer stand for peace in any way shape or form
Of course they don't - war is too profitable. The two parties fight for who is the biggest cheer leader for war/guns/violence etc. You would be brain dead to not see what has happened in the past 1,000 years or so.

Jun 19, 2018
" They support freedom - unless they don't (marijuana for example)"

I am a conservative libertarian. If the people want to legalize drugs fine with me. Just don't ask the taxpayer to support them OR THEIR CHILDREN when things go wrong. I can just hear the liberal arguments now,,,, It's not the children's fault how can you conservatives be so heartless.

Jun 19, 2018
We have a very sick society as proven by the fact that people actually move to a state because MJ is legal there.

Jun 19, 2018
If the people want to legalize drugs fine with me
But not fine with the majority of 'conservative' voters in a state like Oklahoma. All the free market libertarians here want to dictate what I do in my own bedroom, and what I can and can't put in my own body.
We have a very sick society as proven by....
As proven by thousands of metrics. Try war, obesity, crime rate, drug addiction, road rage, # of lawyers, crappy education system, poverty rates, child abuse, wealth disparity, and on and on and on.

Solution - very complex. It is like saying that the solution to climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels, But the society is addicted to fossil fuels. Vested powerful interests in the society cling to the old ways of doing things. They are conservatives - both Republican and Democratic conservatives. They don't want change....

Jun 19, 2018
Onions here is my problem with drugs. Every drug that makes someone feel better is addictive including sugar. Some of these addictions are more debilitating than others. Lets pick an easy case to begin with. If we legalize heroin who needs to take responsibility for the addicts and their dependents? Assume that it is cheap enough that the cost is not a factor.

Jun 19, 2018
MR
If we legalize heroin who needs to take responsibility for the addicts and their dependents?
Very complex issue - right? What about alcohol? That is legal - and who takes responsibility for the addicts and their dependents. From a personal perspective - it is my body, and I take responsibility for what I put in it. BUT - I am well educated, very privileged, and recognize that it is much easier for me to take that responsibility - than it is for many others - such as folk raised in poverty. So I don't think we can talk about drug addiction - out of the context of the whole society. BUT - I find it very hypocritical of Republicans - to claim to support individual responsibility - and then to be the ones trying to dictate personal behavior - such as what I put in my own body, who I want to marry, etc.

Jun 19, 2018
If the people want to legalize drugs fine with me. Just don't ask the taxpayer to support them OR THEIR CHILDREN when things go wrong.
You already are paying for them via high health insurance costs and taxes for law enforcement, including absurdly long incarceration times.
If we legalize heroin who needs to take responsibility for the addicts and their dependents?
Because when a drug is illegal, no one is addicted to it. Uh huh.
Every drug that makes someone feel better is addictive including sugar.
Oddly, when I'm not in pain, I feel no compulsion to take Ibuprofen. Do you ever listen to yourself?

Jun 19, 2018
Onions alcoholics are more functional for a longer period of time than heroin addicts. Thus the societal cost of alcohol is less.

Barakn I understand your point about existing costs to society but question if your assumption is true. If we were to legalize all drugs and make them available for little cost that would clear out the jails and court system. It would also make crime less lucrative and reduce the number of gang members/criminals. Countering these savings are the social costs of reduced sobriety and responsibility. To compare something like aspirin to an opioid is disingenuous. Many heroin addicts started out on legally and ethically prescribed pain medications but could not stop.
BTW sugar IS addictive as proven by US sugar consumption.


Jun 19, 2018
MR
alcoholics are more functional for a longer period of time than heroin addicts
Perhaps. I have worked with people who have a permanent relationship with cocaine, marijuana, pills etc. The point for me - is where do you draw the line? I believe the evidence says that countries that treat addiction as a public health issue - find the overall cost to be less. Certainly countries that legalize marijuana - don't find it to be the great evil that the conservatives suggest. What you don't address is the hypocrisy of claiming to be a libertarian (total self responsibility) - and then wanting to legislate how I treat my own body.

Jun 19, 2018
@MR155; As the article points out, the more your tied into circles of corruption, the more likely you will be corrupted. At least that is true for males. Insanity begins when you let a person like dictator and micromanager trump become the the commander of all law, all military, all intelligence, all science, all farm, all the shit and can pardon himself of all crime including murder, cocaine dealing, etc. wHEN are you freaking republican stooges going to recognize the monster you made?


Jun 20, 2018
Just a loaded study. Women have always had power, they just exercise it differently. Hardly any men have had power as well. Representatives, Senators, and the president are only one out of 500,000 people.

Jun 20, 2018
Hardly any men have had power as well.
So - the fact that we have never had a female president, only one female vp, less than 25% of congress is female, almost no large corporations have a female ceo, men like Weinstein et al have operated above the law etc. etc. etc - is all dismissed by saying "they just exercise it differently????" https://www.huffi...608.html

Jun 20, 2018
Barky wonders
Ok, I'll bite, Otto. What did you think was free and fair about the most recent Venezuelan election?
-and otto wonders what makes barky think otto is cusco?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more