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An Econometric Study of Rape Victim Silence: Competition, Selection, and Deterrence


  • Hugo Mialon
  • Sue Mialon


We perform an econometric analysis of the determinants of sexual violence against women and reporting behavior by victims of sexual violence in the United States during the era of the women's movement. Drawing on the sexual competition theory of rape, we identify instruments that directly affect the probability of being sexually victmitized, but not the probability of reporting the victimization to the police. We then employ these instruments to correct for victim selection by offenders, allowing us to identify factors that influence the probability that a woman in the general population would report if she were sexually victimized. These factors can potentially be controlled by policy-makers to make women in general more credible in their threats to report, which would deter potential sex offenders.

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  • Hugo Mialon & Sue Mialon, 2004. "An Econometric Study of Rape Victim Silence: Competition, Selection, and Deterrence," Emory Economics 0410, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  • Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0410

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