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Women bureaucrats and petty corruption. Experimental evidence from Ghana.

Brierley, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0002-0902-6763 and Pereira, Miguel M. (2023) Women bureaucrats and petty corruption. Experimental evidence from Ghana. Research and Politics. ISSN 2053-1680

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Identification Number: 10.1177/2053168023116116


More women in public institutions is correlated with lower levels of corruption. However, this relationship is thought to be context specific, and the mechanisms that underlie it remain unclear. We conduct two survey experiments to investigate whether and why end-users expect women bureaucrats to be less corrupt in Ghana. Our results show that citizens do not expect women bureaucrats to be less likely to solicit bribes than men. This result holds across bureaucrats with different levels of experience in the public sector and respondents who have and have not paid a bribe. Our second experiment shows that citizens expect men and women bureaucrats to distribute equal shares of their salaries with their extended families. We argue that equality in financial pressures explains why bribe-taking rates may be similar across genders. Our results cast doubt on the idea that women bureaucrats will reduce petty corruption in countries where corruption is pervasive.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Government
European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2023 11:39
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:01

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