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Public Safety for Women: Is Regulation of Social Drinking Spaces Effective?
Saloni Khurana,
Published in Routledge
Pages: 1 - 19
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-differences 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 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 and the most conservative estimate shows a reduction in sexual assaults by 10%. These results have policy implications for regulating social drinking spaces due to their impact on women's public safety.
About the journal
JournalJournal of Development Studies
Open AccessNo