Corruption and innovation in private firms: Does gender matter?

Nirosha Hewa Wellalage, Viviana Fernandez, Sujani Thrikawala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In this study, we examine whether bribery impairs gender-based asymmetries in product/process innovation in developing economies. Based on firm-level data from Latin American countries, we reject the proposition that women behave differently with respect to bribing on the grounds of higher ethical/moral standards. After controlling for endogeneity and non-random treatment effects, we find that, in line with the Differential association and opportunity (DAO) theory, women in positions of influence (i.e., firm ownership and top management) are equally associated with firm-level bribing. Furthermore, the results indicate that women receive, on average, a greater payoff from bribing compared to male counterparts. At a practical level for firms wishing to innovate, the question of how to gain maximum advantage from each peso paid in bribes becomes an interesting amoral exercise. Our study reveals that promoting women into high-level positions on the basis of their superior morality is an ill-conceived presumption, which is not supported empirically.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101500
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Bribes
  • Developing countries
  • Extended probit regression
  • Innovation
  • Latin America
  • Women


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