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Women’s Political Representation and Corruption: Risk Aversion or Political Power?

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license

Empirical findings on the negative association between women’s political representation and corruption are mixed and there is no consensus on why such association exists. Some argue that women’s risk aversion characteristic leads female legislators to engage in corruption less to avoid the risks of being caught. Others suggest that female legislators actively mobile against corruption to protect women’s interests. Using the panel data for up to 162 countries from 2002-2015, I first find that after controlling for the time-invariant country-specific heterogeneity, women’s political representation is negatively associated with corruption. Then, using mediation analysis, I find that social spending mediates the suppressing effect of women’s political representation and corruption, thus provide evidence for the women’s interest mechanism.

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