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Unemployment and Domestic Violence: Theory and Evidence

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  • Dan Anderberg
  • Helmut Rainer
  • Jonathan Wadsworth
  • Tanya Wilson

Abstract

Is unemployment the overwhelming determinant of domestic violence that many commentators expect it to be? The contribution of this paper is to examine, theoretically and empirically, how changes in unemployment affect the incidence of domestic abuse. The key theoretical prediction is that male and female unemployment have opposite-signed effects on domestic abuse: an increase in male unemployment decreases the incidence of intimate partner violence, while an increase in female unemployment increases domestic abuse. Combining data on intimate partner violence from the British Crime Survey with locally disaggregated labor market data from the UK's Annual Population Survey, we find strong evidence in support of the theoretical prediction.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1230.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1230

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: domestic violence; unemployment;

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  1. Robert A. Pollak, 2002. "An Intergenerational Model of Domestic Violence," NBER Working Papers 9099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Alcohol abuse and economic conditions: Evidence from repeated cross-sections of individual-level data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(3), pages 257-270.
  3. David Card & Gordon Dahl, 2009. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Cho, In-Koo & Kreps, David M, 1987. "Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221, May.
  9. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-59, September.
  10. Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 1999. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument : A Case-Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  11. Riddell, W Craig, 1981. "Bargaining under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 579-90, September.
  12. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, December.
  13. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  14. Iyengar, Radha, 2009. "Does the certainty of arrest reduce domestic violence? Evidence from mandatory and recommended arrest laws," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 85-98, February.
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