Panel Paper: Benefits and Unintended Consequences of Gender Segregation in Public Transportation: Evidence from Mexico City’s Subway System

Friday, July 20, 2018
Building 3, Room 209 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Arturo Aguilar1, Emilio Gutierrez1 and Paula Soto2, (1)Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, (2)UAM

For most people, transportation is a basic everyday activity. Costs imposed by violence in the public transportation context might have far reaching economic and social consequences. We conduct a survey with 5,000 individuals at Mexico City's subway. The survey seeks to exploit the discontinuity in the hours of operation of a program that reserves subway cars exclusively for women in Mexico City to estimate its impact on self-reported sexual harassment. We begin by giving evidence of the existence of the program operation at the discontinuity. Then, we find that the program seems to achieve its purpose: it reduces the incidence of sexual harassment towards women by 2.9 percentage points. However, it also produces unintended consequences by increasing the incidence of non-sexual aggression (e.g. insults, shoving, etc.) experienced by men in 15.3 percentage points. A willingness-to-pay exercise suggests that from a welfare perspective, it is unclear if the program conveys positive results.

Full Paper: