Women's Mobility and Safety in the Public Space
Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM (PDT)
- Chair: Erica Field, Duke University
Safety First: Perceived Risk of Street Harassment and Educational Choices of Women
AbstractThis paper examines the impact of perceived risk of street harassment on women’s human capital attainment. I assemble a unique dataset that combines information on 4,000 students at the University of Delhi from a survey that I designed and conducted, a mapping of the potential travel routes to all colleges in the students’ choice set using an algorithm I developed in Google Maps, and crowd-sourced mobile application safety data. Using a random utility framework, I estimate that women are willing to choose a college in the bottom half of the quality distribution over a college in the top quintile for a route that is perceived to be one standard deviation (SD) safer. Alternatively, women are willing to spend an additional INR 7,300 (USD 115) per year, relative to men, for a route that is one SD safer – an amount equal to 75 percent of the average annual college tuition. These findings have implications for other economic decisions made by women. For example, it could help explain the puzzle of low female labor force participation in India.
Demand for ''Safe Spaces": Avoiding Harassment and Stigma
AbstractSexual harassment on a woman's commute is pervasive and widens the gender wage
gap. To capture the economic costs of this violence, we randomize the price of a women-
reserved ''safe space" in Rio de Janeiro. We recruit 357 women riders to crowd-source
information on their behavior and experience across 22,000 rides. Women riding in
the public space experience harassment once a week. A fourth of riders are willing
to forgo the equivalent of a 20% fare subsidy to ride in the ''safe space". Randomly
assigning riders to the ''safe space" reduces the incidence of physical harassment by
50%, implying a low-bound cost of avoiding physical harassment of $1.17 per incident.
While the reserved space is safer in relative terms, Implicit Association Tests reveal
that commuters associate women riding in the public space with more openness to
sexual advances. This stigma may normalize harassment of women in the public space.
Does Mobility-On-Demand Reduce Frictions in Megacities? Evidence from an Uber Experiment in Cairo
AbstractEgypt has one of the lowest female labor force participation rates in the world (ranking 177 of 186 countries) and Cairo was recently found to be the most dangerous mega-city for women. Mobility-on-demand (MOD) services such as Uber increase transit options in developing country cities where many residents are underserved by public transit systems and where existing options are characterized by harassment and safety concerns. This paper utilizes a collaborative experiment with Uber Technologies in Cairo to examine three main questions: (1) How do reductions in the price of MOD services affect total mobility in a transit-constrained city? (2) Are mobility-on-demand services considered a safer option by women and, if so, do they differentially affect the mobility of women? (3) What are the labor market benefits of decreasing the travel costs of safe transit for female job seekers? Using a randomized experiment with three subsidy groups, and detailed, high-frequency data collection, the project contributes to a growing literature that studies the impact of transportation services on mobility in rapidly growing cities and estimates the effect of increased mobility on economic outcomes.
- R4 - Transportation Economics
- J2 - Demand and Supply of Labor