Time in Office and the Changing Gender Gap in Dishonesty: Evidence from Local Politics in India

36 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2020

See all articles by Ananish Chaudhuri

Ananish Chaudhuri

University of Auckland Business School

Vegard Iversen

University of Manchester

Francesca R. Jensenius

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Increasing the share of women in politics is regularly promoted as a means of reducing corruption. In this paper, we look for evidence of a gender gap in dishonesty among elected representatives, as well as how this changes with time in office. Based on a sample of 356 inexperienced and experienced local politicians in West Bengal, India, we combine survey data on attitudes towards corruption with data from incentivized experiments. While we find little evidence of a gender gap in the attitudes of inexperienced politicians, a lower faith in political institutions and a greater distaste for corruption can be seen among experienced politicians, particularly women. However, this seeming hardening in attitudes among female politicians also coincides with more dishonest behavior in our experiments. Exploring mechanisms for this difference, we find it to be strongly associated with lower risk aversion. Our study indicates that gender gaps in politics should be theorized as dynamic and changing, rather than static.

Keywords: politicians, gender, honesty, die-tossing game, experiments

JEL Classification: H110, C930

Suggested Citation

Chaudhuri, Ananish and Iversen, Vegard and Jensenius, Francesca R. and Maitra, Pushkar, Time in Office and the Changing Gender Gap in Dishonesty: Evidence from Local Politics in India (2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3576294 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3576294

Ananish Chaudhuri (Contact Author)

University of Auckland Business School ( email )

12 Grafton Rd
Private Bag 92019
Auckland, 1010
New Zealand

Vegard Iversen

University of Manchester ( email )

Francesca R. Jensenius

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Pushkar Maitra

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3
Australia

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