The Historic Roots of Quality of Government: The Role of Gender Equality

  • Amy C. Alexander
Part of the Political Corruption and Governance book series (PCG)


Numerous studies confirm that ceteris paribus when a country performs well in gender equality, it performs well in quality of government and vice versa. This chapter adds to this literature a theory that considers gender equality within households fundamental to understanding the historical roots of the quality of government. The chapter argues that greater gender egalitarianism in early household formation patterns creates a core basis of “bottom-up” support for higher quality of government and related civic norms, namely, generalized social trust. From this perspective, the chapter works with fertility data for gauging the long-term effects of household gender equality on generalized trust and quality of government from 1800 to today.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amy C. Alexander
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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