1 Bragal

Gender Inequality Gp Essay On Corruption

Abstract

Corruption is widely considered to have adverse effects on economic development through its negative impact on the volume and quality of public investment and the efficiency of government services. Conversely, many of these macro variables are determinants of corruption. However, there are few studies of this two-way interaction at the macro level. This thesis aims to extend the current literature on corruption and development by explicit investigation of two diverse channels through which corruption and economic development interact, namely women's share in politics and pollution. For each variable, the thesis presents a theoretical model in which corruption and economic development are determined endogenously in a dynamic general equilibrium framework. We have four main results. First, female bureaucrats commit fewer corrupt acts than male bureaucrats because they have lower incentives to be corrupt. Second, corruption affects pollution directly by reducing pollution abatement resources and indirectly through its impact on development. As pollution and development appear to have an inverse U-shaped relationship, the total effect of corruption on pollution depends on the economy's level of income. Third, we confirm a simultaneous relationship between corruption and development. Fourth, for sufficiently low income levels, corruption and poverty may be permanent features of the economy. In addition to the two theoretical models, the thesis also presents an empirical investigation of the causal effect of women's share in parliament on corruption using panel data and gender quotas as instruments for women's share in parliament. Our results overturn the consensus since we find no causal effect of women's share in parliament on corruption, except in a particular case of Africa with reserved seats quotas.

URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10023/7784

Type

Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy

Gender equality, corruption and meritocracy

BSG-WP-2017/018

In this paper, Bo Rothstein presents the following arguments:

  • Corruption in its various forms is a serious social illness.
  • Democracy is not a safe cure against corruption.
  • Increased gender equality seems to be one important factor behind getting corruption under control. Impartiality in the exercise of public power, not least when it “translates” into meritocratic recruitment and promotion in the public administration, has a powerful effect for lowering corruption.
  • While some aspects of impartiality are central for gender equality, research results are mixed. Some show that impartial principles promote gender equality, others show that gender bias exists also in many processes designed to be impartial.

Going from these results to policy recommendations is thus fraught with many difficulties. One is how to handle problems of legitimacy in the implementation process for various forms of preferential treatment of discriminated groups. Since these problems are impossible to handle, we may be in for a “Churchillian” argument. Like representative democracy, meritocracy may be a far-from-ideal solution for lowering corruption and thereby promoting human well-being, but it may be the least bad of existing alternatives.

About the author

Bo Rothstein is Professor of Government and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

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