War and Women’s Work: Evidence from the Conflict in Nepal


This paper examines how Nepal’s 1996-2006 civil conflict affected women’sdecisions to engage in employment. Using three waves of Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, we employ a difference-in-difference approach to identify the impact of war onwomen’s employment decisions. Results indicate that as a result of the Maoist-led insurgency, women’s employment probabilities were substantially higher in 2001 and 2006 relative to the outbreak of war in 1996. These employment results also hold for self- employment decisions, and they hold for smaller sub-samples that condition on husband’smigration status and women’s status as widows or household heads. Numerous robustness checks of the difference-in-difference estimates based on alternative empirical methods provide compelling evidence that women’s likelihood of employment increased as aconsequence of the conflict.

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