Sex workers, stigma and self-image: evidence from Kolkata brothels

Ghosal, S. , Jana, S., Mani, A., Mitra, S. and Roy, S. (2022) Sex workers, stigma and self-image: evidence from Kolkata brothels. Review of Economics and Statistics, 104(3), pp. 431-448. (doi: 10.1162/rest_a_01013)

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This paper studies the link between self-image and behavior among those who face stigma due to poverty and social exclusion. Using a randomized field experiment with sex workers in Kolkata (India), we examine whether a psychological intervention to mitigate adverse effects of internalized stigma can induce behavior change. We find significant improvements in participants’ self-image, their savings choices and health clinic visits. Administrative data confirm that these changes in savings and preventive health behavior persist fifteen and 21 months later respectively. Our findings highlight the potential of purely psychological interventions to improve life choices and outcomes of marginalized groups.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ghosal, Professor Sayantan
Authors: Ghosal, S., Jana, S., Mani, A., Mitra, S., and Roy, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Review of Economics and Statistics
Publisher:MIT Press
ISSN (Online):1530-9142
Published Online:15 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
First Published:First published in Review of Economics and Statistics 104(3): 431-448
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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