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Public Transfers and Domestic Violence: The Roles of Private Information and Spousal Control

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  • Gustavo J. Bobonis
  • Melissa González-Brenes
  • Roberto Castro

Abstract

We study whether transfer programs in which funds are targeted to women decrease the incidence of spousal abuse. We examine the impact of the Mexican Oportunidades program on spousal abuse rates and threats of violence using data from a specialized survey. Beneficiary women are 40 percent less likely to be victims of physical abuse, but are more likely to receive violent threats with no associated abuse. This evidence is consistent with a model of decision-makers' interactions with asymmetric information in the male partner's gains to marriage, who can then use threats of violence to extract rents from their female partners. (JEL D82, J12, J16, K42, O15, O17)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 179-205

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:179-205

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.5.1.179
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Siwan Anderson & Garance Genicot, 2012. "Suicide and Property Rights in India," Working Papers id:5080, eSocialSciences.
  2. Hidrobo, Melissa & Fernald, Lia, 2013. "Cash transfers and domestic violence," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 304-319.
  3. World Bank, 2011. "Work and Family : Latin American and Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12489, The World Bank.
  4. de Brauw, Alan & Peterman, Amber, 2011. "Can conditional cash transfers improve maternal health and birth outcomes?: Evidence from El Salvador's Comunidades Solidarias Rurales," IFPRI discussion papers 1080, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Þevket Alper Koç & Hakký Cenk Erkin, 2012. "On Intergenerational Transmission of Domestic Violence: Pollak Revisited," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 45-65.
  6. Heath, Rachel, 2012. "Women's access to labor market opportunities, control of household resources, and domestic violence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6149, The World Bank.
  7. Giulia La Mattina, 2014. "Civil Conflict, Sex Ratio and Intimate Partner Violence in Rwanda," HiCN Working Papers 175, Households in Conflict Network.

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