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Unintended Consequences of Lockdowns: COVID-19 and the Shadow Pandemic

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  • Saravana Ravindran
  • Manisha Shah

Abstract

Violence against women is a problem worldwide, with economic costs ranging from 1-4% of global GDP. Using variation in the intensity of government-mandated lock-downs in India, we show that domestic violence complaints increase 0.47 SD in districts with the strictest lockdown rules. We find similarly large increases in cybercrime complaints. Interestingly, rape and sexual assault complaints decrease 0.4 SD during the same period in districts with the strictest lockdowns, consistent with decreased female mobility in public spaces, public transport, and workplaces. Attitudes toward domestic violence play an important role in the reporting and incidence of domestic violence during the lockdown.

Suggested Citation

  • Saravana Ravindran & Manisha Shah, 2020. "Unintended Consequences of Lockdowns: COVID-19 and the Shadow Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 27562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27562
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dhar, Diva & Jain, Tarun & Jayachandran, Seema, 2018. "Reshaping Adolescents' Gender Attitudes: Evidence from a School-Based Experiment in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 13413, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Shalini Roy & Melissa Hidrobo & John Hoddinott & Akhter Ahmed, 2019. "Transfers, Behavior Change Communication, and Intimate Partner Violence: Postprogram Evidence from Rural Bangladesh," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(5), pages 865-877, December.
    3. Mukesh Eswaran & Nisha Malhotra, 2011. "Domestic violence and women's autonomy in developing countries: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1222-1263, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francisco Cabrera-Hernández & Marí­a Padilla-Romo, 2020. "Hidden Violence: How COVID-19 School Closures Reduced the Reporting of Child Maltreatment," Working Papers 2020-02, University of Tennessee, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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