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

  • Lakshmi Iyer
  • Anandi Mani
  • Prachi Mishra
  • Petia Topalova

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 in 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. (JEL D72, J16, K42, O15, O17)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 165-93

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:165-93
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.4.4.165
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