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Unemployment and Domestic Violence: Theory and Evidence

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  • Anderberg, Dan

    ()
    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Rainer, Helmut

    ()
    (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

  • Wadsworth, Jonathan

    ()
    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

  • Wilson, Tanya

    ()
    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

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 Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7515.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7515

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Keywords: domestic violence; unemployment;

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  1. Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
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  10. 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.
  11. Schmidt, Stefanie R, 1999. "Long-Run Trends in Workers' Beliefs about Their Own Job Security: Evidence from the General Social Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S127-41, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
  14. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-59, September.
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