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Sex Workers, Self-Image and Stigma: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels

Author

Listed:
  • Ghosal, Sayantan

    (University of Glasgow)

  • Jana, Smarajit

    (Sonagachi Research and Training Institute)

  • Mani, Anandi

    (Blavatnik School Of Government)

  • Mitra, Sandip

    (Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata)

  • Roy, Sanchari

    (University of Sussex)

Abstract

This paper studies the link between self-image and behavior among those who face stigma due to poverty and social exclusion. Using a randomized field experiment with sex workers in Kolkata (India),we examine whether a psychological intervention aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of stigma can induce behavior change. We find significant improvements in participants’ self-image, as well as their savings and preventive health choices. Additionally, changes in savings and health behaviour persist up to fifteen and 21 months later respectively. Our findings highlight the potential of purely psychological interventions to improve the life choices and outcomes of marginalized groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghosal, Sayantan & Jana, Smarajit & Mani, Anandi & Mitra, Sandip & Roy, Sanchari, 2016. "Sex Workers, Self-Image and Stigma: Evidence from Kolkata Brothels," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 302, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:302
    as

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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/302-2016_mani.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher Blattman & Julian C. Jamison & Margaret Sheridan, 2017. "Reducing Crime and Violence: Experimental Evidence from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Liberia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1165-1206, April.
    2. Johannes Haushofer & Anett John & Kate Orkin, 2019. "Can Simple Psychological Interventions Increase Preventive Health Investment?," NBER Working Papers 25731, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Artadi, Elsa & Björkman Nyqvist, Martina & Kuecken, Maria & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2018. "Understanding Human Trafficking Using Victim-Level Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 13279, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Laajaj,Rachid & Macours,Karen, 2017. "Measuring skills in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8000, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-image; stigma; self-image; savings; public health; HIV prevention; gender; sex workers; India JEL Classification: O12; J15; D87;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

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