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Women, Violence and Work: Threat of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work

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  • Chakraborty, Tanika

    (Indian Institute of Management)

  • Lohawala, Nafisa

    (University of Michigan)

Abstract

The stagnancy of women's workforce participation in urban India is alarming and puzzling, considering the pace of economic development experienced in the previous decade. We investigate the extent to which the low workforce participation of women can be explained by growing instances of officially reported crimes against women. We employ a fixed effects strategy using district-level panel data between 2004-2012. To address additional concerns of endogeneity, we exploit state-level regulations in alcohol sale and consumption and provide estimates from two different strategies – an instrumental variable approach and a border-analysis. Our findings indicate that a one standard deviation increase in sexual crimes per 1000 women reduces the probability that a woman is employed outside her home by 9.4%. While we find some evidence of heterogeneity across regions and religions, overall, the deterrent effect seems to affect women equally across all economic, demographic and social groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Chakraborty, Tanika & Lohawala, Nafisa, 2021. "Women, Violence and Work: Threat of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work," IZA Discussion Papers 14372, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp14372
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    1. 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.
    2. Dara Lee Luca & Emily Owens & Gunjan Sharma, 2015. "Can Alcohol Prohibition Reduce Violence against Women?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 625-629, May.
    3. Dara Lee Luca & Emily Owens & Gunjan Sharma, 2019. "The effectiveness and effects of alcohol regulation: evidence from India," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-26, December.
    4. Maitreyi Bordia Das, and Sonalde Desai, 2003. "Why are educated women less likely to be employed in India? Testing competing hypotheses," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 27868, The World Bank.
    5. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
    6. Stephan Klasen & Janneke Pieters, 2015. "What Explains the Stagnation of Female Labor Force Participation in Urban India?," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(3), pages 449-478.
    7. Vinoj Abraham, 2008. "Employment growth in rural India: Distress driven?," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 404, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
    8. Chakraborty, Tanika & Mukherjee, Anirban & Rachapalli, Swapnika Reddy & Saha, Sarani, 2018. "Stigma of sexual violence and women’s decision to work," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 226-238.
    9. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
    10. Claudia Goldin, 1994. "The U-Shaped Female Labor Force Function in Economic Development and Economic History," NBER Working Papers 4707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Klasen, Stephan & Pieters, Janneke, 2012. "Push or Pull? Drivers of Female Labor Force Participation during India's Economic Boom," IZA Discussion Papers 6395, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 655-691, October.
    13. Cascio, Elizabeth U. & Haider, Steven J. & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "The Effectiveness of Policies that Promote Labor Force Participation of Women with Children: A Collection of National Studies," IZA Discussion Papers 9297, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Rajshri Jayaraman & Bisma Khan, 2023. "Does Co-Residence with Parents-In-Law Reduce Women’s Employment in India?," Working Papers 2023-004, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Deshpande, Ashwini & Singh, Jitendra, 2021. "Dropping Out, Being Pushed Out or Can’t Get in? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women," IZA Discussion Papers 14639, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Ashwini Deshpande & Jitendra Singh, 2021. "Dropping Out, Being Pushed out or Can't Get In? Decoding Declining Labour Force Participation of Indian Women," Working Papers 65, Ashoka University, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    crime-against-women; female labor supply; instrumental variable; alcohol regulation;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • 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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