Ro’ee Levy (Alesina Seminar)


Thursday, September 15, 2022, 4:30pm to 5:45pm


CGIS Knafel Building, room K354 or Online via Zoom

Today's Speaker

Ro’ee Levy (Tel Aviv University), "The Effects of Social Movements: Evidence from #MeToo"

Abstract (link to paper)

Social movements are associated with large societal changes, but evidence of their causal effects is limited. We study the effect of the MeToo movement on reporting sex crimes to the police. We construct a new dataset of crimes reported in 31 OECD countries and employ a triple-difference strategy between crime types, across countries, and over time. The movement increased the reporting of sex crimes by 10%. Using rich US data, we find that in contrast to a common criticism of the movement, the effect is similar across socioeconomic groups, and that the movement also increased arrests for sexual assault. The increased reporting reflects a higher propensity to report sex crimes and not an increase in crime incidence. The mechanism most consistent with our findings is that victims perceive sexual misconduct to be a more serious problem following the movement. Our results demonstrate that social movements can rapidly and persistently affect high-stakes decisions.

Co-sponsored by FAS and IQSS, the Alberto Alesina Seminar on Political Economy supports research-related activities that integrate the study of economics and politics, whether by studying economic behavior in the political process or political behavior in the marketplace. In general, positive political economy is concerned with showing how observed differences among institutions affect political and economic outcomes in various social, economic, and political systems and how the institutions themselves change and develop in response to individual and collective beliefs, preferences, and strategies.

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All interested faculty and students are invited to attend.