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Stigma of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work

Author

Listed:
  • Chakraborty, Tanika

    () (Indian Institute of Management)

  • Mukherjee, Anirban

    () (University of Calcutta)

  • Rachapalli, Swapnika Reddy

    () (University of Toronto)

  • Saha, Sarani

    () (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)

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, 2017. "Stigma of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work," IZA Discussion Papers 10934, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10934
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Allen Lynch & David Rasmussen, 2001. "Measuring the impact of crime on house prices," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(15), pages 1981-1989.
    4. Sekhri, Sheetal & Storeygard, Adam, 2014. "Dowry deaths: Response to weather variability in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 212-223.
    5. Isis Gaddis & Stephan Klasen, 2014. "Economic development, structural change, and women’s labor force participation:," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 639-681, July.
    6. 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.
    7. Nadereh Chamlou & Silvia Muzi & Hanane Ahmed, 2011. "Understanding the Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa Region: The Role of Education and Social Norms in Amman," Working Papers 31, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
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    10. 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.
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    13. Sher Verick, 2014. "Female labor force participation in developing countries," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-87, September.
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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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