Domestic violence and workfare: An evaluation of India's MGNREGS.

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Author: Nayantara Sarma
Date: Jan. 2022
From: World Development(Vol. 149)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 254 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Domestic abuse; Employment; Spousal violence; MGNREGA; Workfare Highlights * Existing research show that adverse income or rainfall shocks can lead to an increase in domestic violence. * This paper examines the affect of a public works program (MGNREGS) in rural India on domestic violence. * The paper finds that the MGNREGS acts as a safety net and mediates the effect of rainfall shocks on domestic violence. * The main channel is through risk-mitigation with some improvements in women's mobility. Abstract Economic shocks are commonly linked with domestic violence. This paper looks at how India's workfare program mediates the effect of income shocks on domestic violence. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) guarantees 100 days of employment to rural households and acts as a form of insurance. Using the phased implementation of MGNREGS across districts in India from 2006 to 2008, I employ a difference-in-differences strategy to show that the introduction of the MGNREGS mitigates the effect of adverse rainfall shocks on officially reported domestic violence crimes at the district level by 8 to 22 percent. Using complementary household data from the India Human Development Survey, I explore the mediating effect of the MGNREGS on rainfall shocks and possible increases in women's empowerment. There are positive effects of participating in the scheme on women's freedom of mobility but inconclusive evidence on women's say in household decisions. Author Affiliation: Department of International Economics, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Switzerland Article History: Accepted 1 September 2021 Byline: Nayantara Sarma [nayantara.sarma@graduateinstitute.ch]

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A679876600