A new GLO Discussion Paper suggests that sexual crimes induce a decline of female employment in India.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 1023, 2022
Women, Violence and Work: Threat of Sexual Violence and Women’s Decision to Work – Download PDF
by Chakraborty, Tanika & Lohawala, Nafisa
GLO Fellow Tanika Chakraborty
Author Abstract: The stagnancy of women’s workforce participation in urban India is alarming and puzzling, considering the pace of economic development experienced in the previous decade. We investigate the extent to which the low workforce participation of women can be explained by growing instances of officially reported crimes against women. We employ a fixed-effects strategy using district-level panel data between 2004-2012. To address additional concerns of endogeneity, we exploit state-level regulations in alcohol sale and consumption and provide estimates from two different strategies – an instrumental variable approach and a border analysis. Our findings indicate that an additional sexual crime per 1000 women in a district reduces the probability that a woman is employed outside her home by roughly 1%. While we find some evidence of heterogeneity across regions and religions, overall, the deterrent effect seems to affect women equally across all economic, demographic, and social groups.
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