The asymmetric role of crime in women's and men's labour force participation: evidence from India

Ankita Mishra, Vinod Mishra, Jaai Parasnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Increased crime incidents, particularly crime against women, raise security concerns and increase the non-pecuniary cost of travelling, thus deterring women from working away from their dwelling. This raises the possibility that if crime reduces women's labour force participation, men may compensate for the loss of income by increasing their participation in the labour force. Therefore, an increase in crime can explain and exacerbate the existing gender gaps in labour force participation. We investigated the possible asymmetric impact of crime on the labour force participation rates of men and women in India. We combined labour market data from NSS surveys on employment and unemployment and crime statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau for a panel of India's 571 districts from 2000 to 2012. We found that men's labour force participation increased or remained unimpacted by an increase in crime, while an increase in crime decreased women's labour force participation, especially in work away from their residence. These contrasting effects of crime on labour force participation rates are robust to fixed and between effects across districts, the dynamic nature of the relationship between variables, and heterogeneity in the data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)933-961
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Crime
  • Gender gaps
  • India
  • Labour force participation rates

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