CORNELIA: Corruption and Female Political Participation

Project: Research project (funded)Research

Project Details


Globally less than a quarter of national parliamentarians are women (UN Women). Meanwhile corruption, in its various forms, persists and seems only weakly constrained by democracy. Existing studies evaluate the impact of female politicians on policies decisions and comparison between the decisions of female and male politicians.

Filling the gaps in the literature, CORNELIA (CORruption aNd fEmale poLItical pArticipation) will investigate the impact of female politicians on corruption scandals at municipal level and other crimes and the possible differences in media coverage between female and male politicians involved in these scandals. More specifically, it will investigate the following research questions: 1) examine the impact of female politicians on the amount of corruption and scandals, taking advantage of close mixed gender races in Italy and the US; 2) develop measures of the media coverage of corruption scandals and examine whether coverage differs for female and male politicians in Italy and US, and furthermore whether this coverage ameliorates corruption differently; 3) examine the impact of gender quotas on candidates’ lists on the level of corruption and scandals, taking advantage of the gender quotas introduction/abolition at local level in Italy.

The research question will be answered using a novel dataset for two different developed countries:1) Italian local data from 1993 to 2019 covering local elections and administrations, corruption and new measures describing media coverage of corruption scandals at the local level, developed by the project; 2) US state level data from 1976 to 2019 covering state level elections and administrations for the 52 States, combined with data on female representation in state governments with corruption data and information on the media coverage of state-level corruption scandals.
StatusNot started