The Power of Political Voice: Women’s Political Representation and Crime in India

53 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2011 Last revised: 1 Aug 2011

Lakshmi Iyer

Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit

Anandi Mani

University of Warwick

Prachi Mishra

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: July 29, 2011

Abstract

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.

Keywords: crime, women’s empowerment, minority representation, voice

JEL Classification: J12, J15, J16, P16

Suggested Citation

Iyer, Lakshmi and Mani, Anandi and Mishra, Prachi and Topalova, Petia B., The Power of Political Voice: Women’s Political Representation and Crime in India (July 29, 2011). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Working Paper No. 11-092. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1780248 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1780248

Lakshmi Iyer (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Business, Government and the International Economy Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

Anandi Mani

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Prachi Mishra

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Research Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Petia B. Topalova

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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