WP 24: Revisiting the nexus between corruption and gender: does women’s political participation in Parliament matter?

The study aims to empi­ri­cally verify the hypothe­ses that the incre­a­se in the sha­re of women legis­la­tor in poli­tics has the poten­ti­al to redu­ce levels of cor­rup­ti­on within the Par­li­a­ment and ove­rall poli­ti­cal cor­rup­ti­on levels. Using data from the Vari­e­ti­es of Demo­cracy (V‑Dem) plat­form, fixed effects, and gene­ra­li­zed method of moments (GMM-Sys­tem) models are esti­ma­ted for a set of 154 coun­tri­es betwe­en 1995 and 2018. The results show that when con­si­de­ring cor­rup­ti­on within the legis­la­ti­ve hou­se, the  gre­a­ter sha­re of women in poli­tics is asso­ci­a­ted with lower levels of cor­rup­ti­on. Even after con­trol­ling for vari­ous soci­e­tal fac­tors, the results con­firm the posi­ti­ve effect of women’s par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in par­li­a­ment on the decli­ne of cor­rup­ti­on. Yet, this effect does not seem to spill over into other bran­ches of govern­ment and sec­tors of the public sphe­re. When con­si­de­ring the level of more gene­ral cor­rup­ti­on, it res­ponds much more to vari­a­ti­ons in struc­tu­ral aspects, as demo­cra­tic matu­rity and equa­lity in the dis­tri­bu­ti­on of poli­ti­cal power among dif­fe­rent soci­o­e­co­no­mic stra­ta, than to women’s par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in par­li­a­men­tary seats.