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David Chavanne

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This paper examines corruption, trust, and gender perceptions in Peru and the United States. Using two self-designed surveys, 150 Peruvians and 771 Americans were asked about the perceptions of ethics. The Peruvian survey asked general questions about corruption and trust, whereas the survey administered in the US asked people about specific scenarios. Both surveys highlight how ethical questions are related between emerging and developed nations. In a developing country, perceptions of gender differences are affected by income and education. The more educated a person is, the less likely they are to think that women are less corrupt than men. Interestingly, the education effect disappears in the study in the United States. Instead, there is a clear correlation between the results of a hypothetical trust game and real life ethical situations. If someone is more trusting in a hypothetical situation they are also found to be more trusting in real situations. A scenario that asked respondents to assess the likelihood that someone returns a stolen wallet shows that all participants see it as more likely for women to return a lost wallet. Some of the other scenarios do not have answers that are as clear. The results indicate no clear conclusions for the gender difference in trust and corruption perceptions yet they underline the importance of studying the topics of trust and corruption at a deeper level in order to achieve a better understanding of how trust influences the success of a society.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.