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

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

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 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)

Suggested Citation

  • Lakshmi Iyer & Anandi Mani & Prachi Mishra & Petia Topalova, 2012. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 165-193, October.
  • 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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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements

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