War and Women's Work: Evidence from the Conflict in Nepal
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. Numerous robustness checks of the main results provide compelling evidence that women’s likelihood of employment increased as a consequence of the conflict.
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