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American Economic Review: Vol. 103 No. 3 (May 2013)


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Sexual Violence against Women and Labor Market Outcomes

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Sabia, Joseph J., Angela K. Dills, and Jeffrey DeSimone. 2013. "Sexual Violence against Women and Labor Market Outcomes." American Economic Review, 103(3): 274-78.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.274


This study is the first in the economics literature to explore the labor market consequences of sexual violence toward women. Using data from the Add Health, we find that sexual violence against women is associated with a 6.6 percent lower probability of labor force participation and 5.1 percent lower average wages. These estimates are robust to controls for unobserved heterogeneity at the school- and family-levels, as well as detailed controls for personality, personal discount rates, and risk preferences. We find that the adverse labor market effects of sexual violence are partially explained by its adverse psychological and physical consequences.

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Sabia, Joseph J. (San Diego State U)
Dills, Angela K. (Providence College)
DeSimone, Jeffrey (U MD)

JEL Classifications

I12: Health Production
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J31: Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
K42: Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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