Economics Departmental Seminar Series | Shiv Nadar University
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Economics Departmental Seminar Series

The Impact of Early Exposure to Discriminatory Institutions on Mortality and Later Life Outcomes in Afghanistan

Speaker: Bipasha Maity (Ashoka University)   


Abstract: We study the impact of exposure to gender-based discriminatory institutions on child mortality, women's attitude to domestic violence, their autonomy and labour market participation as well as men's attitude to domestic violence in Afghanistan. In particular, we use the Taliban regime in Afghanistan as a natural experiment to understand the effect of the laws and regulations which aimed to severely curtail the rights and mobility of women and girls on the aforementioned outcomes. We find that women who were adolescents during the Taliban regime in Taliban dominated provinces show greater acceptability to wife-beating relative to their counterparts in provinces governed by the Northern Alliance, the chief opponent alliance against the Talibans. The likelihood of facing spousal violence also appears to be higher among these women in some situations. However, we do not find any significant effect of the Taliban regime on current decision-making ability and labour market participation of women. In general, the attitude of men who were adolescents during the Taliban rule to wife-beating does not appear to be affected by the regime. However, we find that once we account for the heterogeneity in the leadership of the Northern Alliance, men who were exposed to the Taliban regime are more likely to justify wife-beating relative to their counterparts who grew up in provinces governed by Ahmad Shah Massoud, the most well-known and powerful commander of the Northern Alliance. We also find that under-five mortality rate is higher for children in Taliban dominated provinces who were born during the years the Taliban governed and especially for male children. These results do not appear to be driven by pre-existing trends in attitudes towards domestic violence or child mortality. These results indicate the importance of institutions in shaping gender attitudes and how restrictions of rights and mobility of women can also have detrimental effect on the survival of children.

Event Date: 
Friday, September 13, 2019 -
Friday 13, Sep 2019
02:00 PM - 03:15 PM