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SITE Seminar | Does news coverage of violence against women affect its judicial treatment? Evidence from France

Welcome to the next SITE Seminar! On September 17, Maëlle Stricot, PhD. student from Paris School of Economics, will present her working paper entitled "Does news coverage of violence against women affect its judicial treatment? Evidence from France" at SSE and online via Zoom.

Working paper title: Does news coverage of violence against women affect its judicial treatment? Evidence from France

By: Maëlle Stricot, Paris School of Economics


This paper explores how news coverage of violence against women (VAW) affects the reporting and judicial treatment of sexual and domestic violence. I combine high-frequency data on French TV news content with rich novel administrative data on almost all cases handled by the criminal justice system in France. I document a relatively low level of prosecution of perpetrators of VAW, as well as limited coverage of such violence on TV news, but significant changes have occurred over the last decade. Exploiting the quasi-random timing of news in the short run, I next estimate the effect of TV news coverage of VAW on each stage of the legal process - namely reporting, prosecution and sentencing decisions. First, news on VAW crimes have a relatively small impact on the propensity to report sexual or domestic violence. Second, prosecutors are less likely to dismiss a case after news coverage of VAW crimes. The effect amounts to a 2% increase in prosecutions of perpetrators of VAW in the week following the news coverage, mainly for domestic violence and cases that were on the verge of being dismissed. Third, sentencing decisions made by judges are not affected by news coverage of VAW. These findings imply that documenting and talking about VAW is important to raise prosecution and effectively combat this violence.

About the speaker

Maëlle Stricot, PhD student at the Paris School of Economics and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Maëlle Stricot research mainly focuses on violence against women. Currently, she is studying the impact of media and public policies on the prevalence, reporting and judicial treatment of sexual and domestic violence, mostly in France. She is also interested in the criminal justice system, notably the effect of incarceration on long-run economic outcomes.

She previously worked as a research assistant at the French Institute of Public Policy (IPP) and at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where she contributed to projects related to health and employment. 

Research interests: Gender Economics, Crime Economics, Political Economy of the Media, Labour Economics, Health Economics

Learn more about the speaker >>

Interested in attending the SITE Seminar at SSE or online via Zoom?

The link to the seminar will be distributed by invitation only. If you are interested in attending the seminar – please contact site@hhs.se. Follow the instructions below:

  • Type the subject box with “SITE seminar *INSERT SEMINAR TITLE*”
  • Indicate your affiliation and field of interest
  • Please also indicate if you want to attend in person or online

For registered applicants, a Zoom link will be provided prior to the event via email with further instructions.

Photo: Burdun Iliya, Shutterstock


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