Other links:

Other links:

Public Safety for Women: Is Regulation of Social Drinking Spaces Effective?

  • Economics Discussion Papers
  • May 2, 2019
  • Kanika Mahajan,
  • Saloni Khurana, Kanika Mahajan

This paper examines the impact of reduced availability of hard liquor in bars on sexual crimes against women outside their homes. We construct a district level panel dataset on reported crimes and use an identification strategy that exploits a natural experiment that led to a complete crackdown on bars selling hard liquor in a state of India. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we show that placing restrictions on alcohol sale through closure of on-premise drinking outlets that serve hard liquor reduces reported incidence of sexual assault and harassment against women by 25% but has no effect on reported rapes. We conduct placebo tests and show that the result is not driven by existing pre-trends. The result is also robust to an alternative estimation strategy using a synthetic control construction. These results have policy implications for regulating social drinking spaces due to their impact on women's public safety.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka