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The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India

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  • Mani, Anandi

    (University of Warwick)

  • Iyer, Lakshmi

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Mishra, Prachi

    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Topalova, Petia

    (International Monetary Fund)

Abstract

Using state-level variation in the timing of political reforms, we find that an increase in female representation in local government induces a large and significant rise in documented crimes against women in India. Our evidence suggests that this increase is good news, as it is driven primarily by greater reporting rather than greater incidence of such crimes. In contrast, we find no increase in crimes against men or gender-neutral crimes. We also examine the effectiveness of alternative forms of political representation: large scale membership of women in local councils affects crime against them more than their presence in higher level leadership positions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 63.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:63

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Keywords: crime; women’s empowerment; minority representation; voice;

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References

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  1. Beaman, Lori & Chattopadhyay, Raghabendra & Duflo, Esther & Pande, Rohini & Topalova, Petia, 2008. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6922, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao, 2002. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1029-1043, September.
  3. Indira Rajaraman & Manish Gupta, 2012. "Public expenditure choices and gender quotas," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(2), pages 108-130, December.
  4. Anna Aizer & Pedro Dal Bó, 2007. "Love, Hate and Murder: Commitment Devices in Violent Relationships," NBER Working Papers 13492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094, August.
  6. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  7. Timothy Besley & Rohini Pande & Vijayendra Rao, 2012. "Just Rewards? Local Politics and Public Resource Allocation in South India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 26(2), pages 191-216.
  8. Draca, Mirko & Machin, Stephen & Witt, Robert, 2008. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," IZA Discussion Papers 3410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Iyengar, Radha, 2009. "Does the certainty of arrest reduce domestic violence? Evidence from mandatory and recommended arrest laws," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 85-98, February.
  10. Soares, Rodrigo R., 2004. "Development, crime and punishment: accounting for the international differences in crime rates," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 155-184, February.
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  12. Kislaya Prasad, 2012. "Economic Liberalization and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 925 - 948.
  13. Rafael Di Tella & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2004. "Do Police Reduce Crime? Estimates Using the Allocation of Police Forces After a Terrorist Attack," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 115-133, March.
  14. Ebonya L. Washington, 2008. "Female Socialization: How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 311-32, March.
  15. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2005. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 265-292, April.
  16. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-59, September.
  17. Fafchamps, Marcel & Minten, Bart, 2006. "Crime, Transitory Poverty, and Isolation: Evidence from Madagascar," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 579-603, April.
  18. Abhijit Banerjee & Rohini Somanathan, 2004. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 04-17, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  19. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
  20. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288, 02.
  21. Edlund, Lena & Li, Hongbin & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2007. "Sex Ratios and Crime: Evidence from China’s One-Child Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 3214, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sonia R. Bhalotra & Guilhem Cassan & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 19173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ghani, Ejaz & Kerr, William R. & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2014. "Political reservations and women's entrepreneurship in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 138-153.
  3. Sheetal Sekhri & Adam Storeygard, 2013. "Dowry Deaths: Consumption Smoothing in Response to Climate Variability in India," Virginia Economics Online Papers 407, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  4. Afridi, Farzana & Iversen, Vegard & Sharan, M.R., 2013. "Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Elisabetta LODIGIANI & Sara SALOMONE, 2012. "Migration-induced Transfers of Norms. The case of Female Political Empowerment," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2012001, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  6. Farzana Afridi & Vegard Iversen & M.R. Sharan, 2013. "Women political leaders, corruption and learning: Evidence from a large public program in India," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 13-02, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
  7. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2013. "Femmes au pouvoir et Pouvoir des femmes : Qu’est-ce qui se passe en Afrique ?
    [Women in power and power of women: What is happening in Africa?]
    ," MPRA Paper 48776, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Hallward-Driemeier, Mary & Hasan, Tazeen & Rusu, Anca Bogdana, 2013. "Women's legal rights over 50 years : progress, stagnation or regression ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6616, The World Bank.
  9. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Lakshmi Iyer, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women’s Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success," Economics Discussion Papers 740, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Lakshmi Iyer & Petia Topalova, 2014. "Poverty and Crime: Evidence from Rainfall and Trade Shocks in India," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-067, Harvard Business School.
  11. Ghani, Ejaz & Mani, Anandi & O'Connell, Stephen D., 2013. "Can political empowerment help economic empowerment ? women leaders and female labor force participation in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6675, The World Bank.
  12. Mori, Yuko & Kurosaki, Takashi, 2013. "Does Political Reservation Affect Voting Behavior? Empirical Evidence from India," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-09, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  13. Subrata Chakrabarty & A. Bass, 2014. "Institutionalizing Ethics in Institutional Voids: Building Positive Ethical Strength to Serve Women Microfinance Borrowers in Negative Contexts," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 119(4), pages 529-542, February.

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