Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 195–219 | Cite as

Women in government, public corruption, and liberal democracy: a panel analysis

  • Hung-En SungEmail author


Ever since a 2001 World Bank report, many policymakers have come to accept a gender-based approach to corruption control, which posits that women in government reduce corruption because females are more ethical than males. An alternative explanation asserting the spuriousness of the gender-corruption link suggests that both gender equality and lower corruption result from a functioning liberal democracy. In this study, eight hypotheses are formulated and tested with longitudinal data for 204 countries. Findings demonstrate that neither the level of women in government nor a change in it has any impact on the prevalence and/or short-term trend of corruption. But both the strength of liberal institutions and an increase in this strength predict the prevalence and trend of corruption.


Gender Equality Liberal Democracy Spurious Effect Government Variable Cabinet Minister 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the grant # 61074–00 39 awarded by the Professional Staff Congress at the City University of New York.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal JusticeNew YorkUSA

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