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The Way the Cookie Crumbles? A Study of the Relationship Between Gender and Corruption in Ghana

Lindqvist, Emma LU and Littorin, Ebba LU (2010) NEKM01 20101
Department of Economics
Abstract
In the field of development economics corruption is considered a major obstacle to economic development. When opportunities to abuse power for self-interest are widespread, inequalities may become reinforced and democratic and economic development will be undermined. Empirical studies have found a negative relationship between gender and corruption implying that increased female participation lowers the level of corruption and that it could be used as an anti-corruption strategy. By accepting this relationship as a fact without further investigating the underlying mechanisms, simply increasing female participation as an anti-corruption strategy could fail.
Our intention in this thesis is to critically assess the relationship between a... (More)
In the field of development economics corruption is considered a major obstacle to economic development. When opportunities to abuse power for self-interest are widespread, inequalities may become reinforced and democratic and economic development will be undermined. Empirical studies have found a negative relationship between gender and corruption implying that increased female participation lowers the level of corruption and that it could be used as an anti-corruption strategy. By accepting this relationship as a fact without further investigating the underlying mechanisms, simply increasing female participation as an anti-corruption strategy could fail.
Our intention in this thesis is to critically assess the relationship between a higher number of women in public office and lower levels of corruption in the public sector. We intend to investigate whether it is gender equality per se that has this effect or whether there are other underlying mechanisms such as the presence of networks, level of social trust and gender related differences in opportunities, expectations, level of power and risk aversion.
A sample survey was carried out within a number of governmental ministries to measure the attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of public officials. We also conducted several interviews and a natural field experiment to validate our results from the survey.
The result from our study is ambiguous, and our hypothesis about a gender effect and its underlying mechanisms cannot explain corruption. This could be due to imperfections in our survey questionnaire, experiment and interviews. Our conclusion that the relation between increased female participation and lower level of corruption cannot be verified, is however based on a large and diverse material. This gives our study support and further questions the idea that women have a positive effect on corruption. (Less)
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author
Lindqvist, Emma LU and Littorin, Ebba LU
supervisor
organization
course
NEKM01 20101
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
gender equality, corruption, economic development
language
English
id
1716309
date added to LUP
2011-02-04 12:16:28
date last changed
2011-02-04 12:16:28
@misc{1716309,
  abstract     = {In the field of development economics corruption is considered a major obstacle to economic development. When opportunities to abuse power for self-interest are widespread, inequalities may become reinforced and democratic and economic development will be undermined. Empirical studies have found a negative relationship between gender and corruption implying that increased female participation lowers the level of corruption and that it could be used as an anti-corruption strategy. By accepting this relationship as a fact without further investigating the underlying mechanisms, simply increasing female participation as an anti-corruption strategy could fail.
Our intention in this thesis is to critically assess the relationship between a higher number of women in public office and lower levels of corruption in the public sector. We intend to investigate whether it is gender equality per se that has this effect or whether there are other underlying mechanisms such as the presence of networks, level of social trust and gender related differences in opportunities, expectations, level of power and risk aversion.
A sample survey was carried out within a number of governmental ministries to measure the attitudes, perceptions and behaviour of public officials. We also conducted several interviews and a natural field experiment to validate our results from the survey.
The result from our study is ambiguous, and our hypothesis about a gender effect and its underlying mechanisms cannot explain corruption. This could be due to imperfections in our survey questionnaire, experiment and interviews. Our conclusion that the relation between increased female participation and lower level of corruption cannot be verified, is however based on a large and diverse material. This gives our study support and further questions the idea that women have a positive effect on corruption.},
  author       = {Lindqvist, Emma and Littorin, Ebba},
  keyword      = {gender equality,corruption,economic development},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Way the Cookie Crumbles? A Study of the Relationship Between Gender and Corruption in Ghana},
  year         = {2010},
}