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

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Author Info

  • Lakshmi Iyer

    ()
    (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit)

  • Anandi Mani

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Prachi Mishra

    ()
    (Research Department, IMF)

  • Petia Topalova

    ()
    (Research Department, IMF)

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, 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 Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 11-092.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision: Aug 2011
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:11-092

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

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References

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  1. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-59, September.
  2. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto Chong & Suzanne Duryea, 2008. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," Research Department Publications 4573, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Mirko Draca & Stephen Machin & Robert Witt, 2011. "Panic on the Streets of London: Police, Crime, and the July 2005 Terror Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2157-81, August.
  4. Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540, November.
  5. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," NBER Working Papers 10175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Banerjee, Abhijit & Somanathan, Rohini, 2007. "The political economy of public goods: Some evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 287-314, March.
  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. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2011. "Women in politics: Evidence from the Indian States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 664-690, August.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2007. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," NBER Working Papers 13305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Demombynes, Gabriel & Ozler, Berk, 2002. "Crime and local inequality in South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2925, The World Bank.
  16. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality And Crime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(4), pages 530-539, November.
  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. Kislaya Prasad, 2012. "Economic Liberalization and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 925 - 948.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Heterogeneity Matters: When the average hides what is true for most - Guest post by Jessica Hoel
    by Development Impact Guest Blogger in Development Impact on 2012-12-09 22:02:30
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Cited by:
  1. Sonia Bhalotra & Irma Clots-Figueras & Guilhem Cassan & Lackshmi Iyer, 2013. "Religion, Politician Identity and Development Outcomes: Evidence from India," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 13/309, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Clots-Figueras, Irma & Iyer, Lakshmi, 2013. "Path-Breakers: How Does Women's Political Participation Respond to Electoral Success?," IZA Discussion Papers 7771, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Ejaz Ghani & William R. Kerr & Stephen D. O'Connell, 2014. "Political Reservations and Women’s Entrepreneurship in India," NBER Working Papers 19868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Elisabetta Lodigiani & Sara Salomone, 2012. "Migration-induced Transfers of Norms. The Case of Female Political Empowerment," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_058, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

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