War and Women’s Work: Evidence from the Conflict in Nepal
In a study of the effect of war on women’s work, this paper examines how Nepal’s 1996-2006 civil conflict affected women’s decisions to engage in employment. Using three waves of Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, we employ a difference-in-difference approach to identify the impact of war on women’s employment decisions. Results indicate that as a result of the Maoist-led insurgency, women’s employment probabilities were substantially higher in 2001 and 2006 relative to the outbreak of war in 1996. These employment results also hold for self-employment decisions, and they hold for smaller sub-samples that condition on husband’s migration status and women’s status as widows or household heads. Robustness checks of the difference-in-difference estimates based on alternative empirical methods provide substantial evidence that women’s likelihood of employment increased as a consequence of the conflict.
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