Article | American Economic Journal: Applied Economics | October, 2012

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

by Lakshmi Iyer, Anandi Mani, Prachi Mishra and Petia Topalova

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: Leadership; Crime and Corruption; Rank and Position; Performance Effectiveness; Gender Characteristics; Government and Politics; India;

Citation:

Iyer, Lakshmi, Anandi Mani, Prachi Mishra, and Petia Topalova. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4, no. 4 (October, 2012): 165–193.