Gender and corruption: The mediating power of institutional logics

Scholars have argued that recruiting more women to office is an effective way to curb corruption; however, the more precise mechanisms underlying why this may be the case have remained unclear. We use meso-level theories to elaborate on the relationship and suggest that institutional logics mediate the effect of gendered experiences on corruption. We make two propositions: First, we suggest that the relationship between more women and lower levels of corruption is weaker in the state administration than in the legislative arena, because the bureaucratic administrative logic absorbs actors’ personal characteristics. Second, we refine our institutional argument by claiming that the stronger the bureaucratic principles are in the administration, the less gender matters. We validate our theory using data provided by the European Commission (EC) covering the EC countries and original data from the Quality of Government Institute Expert Surveys, covering a larger set of countries on a worldwide scale.