Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar
Smriti Sharma

Crime and Human Capital in India

Smriti Sharma, Assistant Professor in Economics at Newcastle University
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Seminar streamed via Zoom

The Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar is the Economics department's weekly seminar, featuring external speakers in all areas of economics.

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As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Smriti Sharma, Assistant Professor in Economics at the Newcastle University.

She will present her work, joint with Naveen Sunder, titled Crime and Human Capital in India.

Abstract: We analyze the effect of neighbourhood crime on human capital accumulation in India. We combine multiple years of district-level data on incidence of various types of crime with a nationally representative survey on learning outcomes of children aged 5-16 years. Our empirical strategy leverages the within-district across-year variation in crime to estimate the crime-learning gradient. We show that an increase in violent crime leads to lower scores in reading and math, while non-violent crimes do not have any discernible effect on learning outcomes. The effects are short-lived, driven by contemporaneous crime, and are similar for boys and girls. Additionally, we find that violent crimes have larger negative effects on learning outcomes of children with less educated mothers and those belonging to poorer households. We examine both demand- and supply-side explanations underpinning these findings.


About the speaker

Smriti Sharma is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Economics at the Newcastle University in England. She is a Research Affiliate at Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) and a Fellow at Global Labor Organization (GLO). She was previously a Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER in Helsinki, Finland. Her fields of specialisation are development economics, labour economics and behavioural economics. She has three areas of interest, namely education, skills and labour markets; political economy of development; and caste and gender-based disadvantage and discrimination. She uses both observational and experimental data in her research., and her work focuses mainly on India and Vietnam.