The Foundational Effects of Gender: Exploring Latin American Elites’ Perceptions of Corruption

Asbel Bohigues, Jennifer Piscopo, Amy Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Do women perceive corruption differently from men and why? Using elite survey data from over 3,000 Latin American legislators nested in 49 country-years, we explore who perceives corruption as an important national problem. We find that women legislators place more importance on corruption than men. We further examine three potential mechanisms to understand why: support for effective states, power marginalization, and corruption salience. We explore whether these mechanisms work through pathways of moderation or mediation. We find little support for hypotheses that gender interacts with these factors, but we do find that gender mediates who supports effective states and who is marginalized from power. In both the moderation and mediation analyses, we continue to find an underlying, robust effect of being a woman on rating corruption’s importance. Thus, while debate over mechanisms remain, gender is foundational to explaining elites’ corruption perceptions. Women consistently perceive corruption as more important than men.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages35
JournalLegislative Studies Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Jun 2024

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