No. 4 Are Women Really the "Fairer" Sex? Corruption and Women in Government
By David Dollar, Raymond Fisman, and Roberta Gatti

Numerous behavioral studies have found women to be more trust-worthy and public-spirited than men.  These results suggest that women should be particularly effective in promoting honest government.  Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that the greater the representation of women in parliament, the lower the level of corruption.  We find this association in a large cross-section of countries; the result is robust to a wide range of specifications.

This paper is part of a series of papers on selected topics commissioned for the forthcoming Policy Research Report on Gender and Development.  The PRR is being carried out by Elizabeth King and Andrew Mason and co-sponsored by the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group and the Gender and Development Group of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network. Printed copies of this paper are available free from the World Bank, 1818 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20433. Please contact Tai Lui Tan, in room MC3-624A or at Comments are welcome and should be sent directly to the author(s) at,  and

The full-length paper is available in PDF format.