Stigma of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work

52 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2017

See all articles by Tanika Chakraborty

Tanika Chakraborty

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur

Anirban Mukherjee

University of Calcutta

Swapnika Rachapalli

University of Toronto

Sarani Saha

Indian Institute of Technology

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.

Keywords: crime against women, labor force participation, stigma cost

JEL Classification: E24, J16, J18

Suggested Citation

Chakraborty, Tanika and Mukherjee, Anirban and Rachapalli, Swapnika and Saha, Sarani, Stigma of Sexual Violence and Women's Decision to Work. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10934, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029805

Tanika Chakraborty (Contact Author)

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur ( email )

Kharagpur
Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh 208016
India

Anirban Mukherjee

University of Calcutta

Senate House, 87/1 College Street
Bagnan
Kolkata, West Bengal 700073
India

Swapnika Rachapalli

University of Toronto

Toronto, M5S 3G8
Canada

Sarani Saha

Indian Institute of Technology ( email )

BF-1/12, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Kharagpur, West Bengal 721302
India

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