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Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India

Author

Listed:
  • Sofia Amaral

    () (ifo Institute and CESifo)

  • Sonia Bhalotra

    () (ISER - University of Essex)

  • Nishith Prakash

    () (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

We study the impact of an innovative policy intervention in India that led to a rapid expansion in ‘all women police stations’ across cities in India on reported crime against women and deterrence. Using an identification strategy that exploits the staggered implementation of women police stations across cities and nationally representative data on various measures of crime and deterrence, we find that the opening of police stations increased reported crime against women by 22 percent. This is due to increases in reports of female kidnappings and domestic violence. In contrast, reports of genderspecific mortality, self-reported intimate-partner violence and other non-gender specific crimes remain unchanged. We also show that victims move away from reporting crimes in general stations and that self-reported use of support services increased in affected areas. The implementation of women police stations also led to marginal improvements in measures of police deterrence such as arrest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Sofia Amaral & Sonia Bhalotra & Nishith Prakash, 2019. "Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-309, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-309
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    File URL: http://www.bu.edu/econ/files/2019/05/womenstations_did_Jan19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Women police station; Crime against women; Women in policing; India; Pro-active behaviour;

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