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Stigma of sexual violence and women’s decision to work

Author

Listed:
  • Chakraborty, Tanika
  • Mukherjee, Anirban
  • Rachapalli, Swapnika Reddy
  • Saha, Sarani

Abstract

Our study is motivated by two disturbing evidences concerning women in India. On one hand, crime against women is on the rise while on the other, women’s labor force participation rate (WLFPR) has been declining over the last three decades. We estimate the extent to which the decline in WLFPR can be assigned to increasing instances of crime against women. We argue that an increase in crime against women, increases the non-pecuniary costs of traveling to work, particularly in a traditional society marked by stigma against victims of sexual crimes. Our findings suggest that women are less likely to work away from home in regions where the perceived threat of sexual harassment against girls is higher. The estimate is robust to various sensitivity checks. Moreover, the deterrence effect of crime responds to the opportunity cost of work on one hand and the stigma cost of sexual crimes on the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakraborty, Tanika & Mukherjee, Anirban & Rachapalli, Swapnika Reddy & Saha, Sarani, 2018. "Stigma of sexual violence and women’s decision to work," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 226-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:103:y:2018:i:c:p:226-238
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.10.031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kristin Mammen & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Women's Work and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 141-164, Fall.
    2. Sekhri, Sheetal & Storeygard, Adam, 2014. "Dowry deaths: Response to weather variability in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 212-223.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
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    9. Stephan Klasen & Janneke Pieters, 2015. "What Explains the Stagnation of Female Labor Force Participation in Urban India?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(3), pages 449-478.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Crime-against-women; Labor-force-participation; Stigma-cost;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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