Are Women More Averse to Corruption than Men? The Case of South Korea

Aie Rie Lee, Kerry Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: Previous research asserts that women are less prone to corruption than men. It is not without contestation, leading to a complex corpus with mixed findings suggesting that perceptions might be context-specific. This study investigates whether, how, and under or through what conditions gender impacts individual perceptions of corruption in South Korea, a case exemplifying “Asian exceptionalism.”. Methods: Employing the World Values Survey and statistical regression techniques, we leverage a quasi-experiment analyzing individual attitudes across all regime types in South Korea's recent history. Results: Examining three types of corruption—state benefit fraud, tax evasion, and bribe-taking—we find no significant differences until Korea democratizes, when we observe a surprising increase in the gap between perspectives. Conclusions: Women's differential tolerance is mixed across types of corruption, implying that corruption is not a homogenous concept and that perceptions are conditioned by individual opportunities and constraints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-489
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


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