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Love, hate and murder: Commitment devices in violent relationships

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  • Aizer, Anna
  • Dal B, Pedro

Abstract

Many violent relationships are characterized by a high degree of cyclicality: women who are the victims of domestic violence often leave and return multiple times. To explain this we develop a model of time inconsistent preferences in the context of domestic violence. This time inconsistency generates a demand for commitment. We present supporting evidence that women in violent relationships display time inconsistent preferences by examining their demand for commitment devices. We find that no-drop policies - which compel the prosecutor to continue with prosecution even if the victim expresses a desire to drop the charges - result in an increase in reporting. No-drop policies also result in a decrease in the number of men murdered by intimates suggesting that some women in violent relationships move away from an extreme type of commitment device when a less costly one is offered.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3-4 (April)
Pages: 412-428

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:3-4:p:412-428

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Domestic violence Time inconsistency Commitment;

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Cited by:
  1. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-59, September.
  2. Mani, Anandi & Iyer, Lakshmi & Mishra, Prachi & Topalova, Petia, 2011. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 63, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. repec:cge:warwcg:62 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Jungmin Lee, 2013. "The Impact of a Mandatory Cooling-off Period on Divorce," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(1), pages 227 - 243.

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