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The effect of violent crime on female decision-making within the household: evidence from the Mexican war on drugs

Magda Tsaneva (), Marc Rockmore () and Zahra Albohmood
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Zahra Albohmood: Clark University

Review of Economics of the Household, 2019, vol. 17, issue 2, 615-646

Abstract: Abstract This paper uses the surge in drug-related violence in Mexico to study the effect of violent crime on married women’s decision-making. Using a fixed-effects regression model, we find that increased violence is associated with a reduction in women’s participation in household decision-making. Yet, the effect is small—at the average, it leads to women making 0.11 fewer decisions, a decrease of 1.2% relative to the baseline value. Further, the effect is short-lived—the effect of past homicides is not significant when controlling for current levels of violent crime. We find that violence is associated with higher probability of working and higher number of working hours for women, while men experience a reduction in their probability of working. This implies that our results are likely not due to changing norms or women losing economic power but rather women spending less time at home while men take on some of the household responsibilities.

Keywords: Household bargaining; Female empowerment; Mexico; Violence; Drug war; Insecurity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:17:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11150-018-9418-0