The Power of Political Voice: Women’s Political Representation and Crime in India
Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit
University of Warwick
International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department
Petia B. Topalova
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
July 29, 2011
Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 11-092
Using state-level variation in the timing of political reforms, we find that an increase in female representation in local government induces a large and significant rise in documented crimes against women in India. Our evidence suggests that this increase is good news, driven primarily by greater reporting rather than greater incidence of such crimes. In contrast, we find no increase in crimes against men or gender-neutral crimes. We also examine the effectiveness of alternative forms of political representation: large scale membership of women in local councils affects crime against them more than their presence in higher level leadership positions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: crime, women’s empowerment, minority representation, voice
JEL Classification: J12, J15, J16, P16
Date posted: March 9, 2011 ; Last revised: August 1, 2011
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