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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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  • Aizer, Anna & Dal B, Pedro, 2009. "Love, hate and murder: Commitment devices in violent relationships," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 412-428, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:3-4:p:412-428
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    2. 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.
    3. Perova, Elizaveta & Reynolds, Sarah Anne, 2017. "Women's police stations and intimate partner violence: Evidence from Brazil," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 188-196.
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    5. Sofia Amaral & Sonia Bhalotra & Nishith Prakash, 2019. "Gender, Crime and Punishment: Evidence from Women Police Stations in India," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-309, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    6. Lakshmi Iyer & Anandi Mani & Prachi Mishra & Petia Topalova, 2012. "The Power of Political Voice: Women's Political Representation and Crime in India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 165-193, October.
    7. Caoimhe Rice & Judit Vall Castelló, 2018. "Hit where it hurts – healthcare access and intimate partner violence," Working Papers 2018/22, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    8. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-1859, September.
    9. Martin Foureaux Koppensteiner & Jesse Matheson & Reka Plugor, 2019. "Understanding Access Barriers to Public Services: Lessons from a Randomized Domestic Violence Intervention," Working Papers 2019013, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    10. Lu Gram & Rolando Granados & Eva M. Krockow & Nayreen Daruwalla & David Osrin, 2021. "Modelling collective action to change social norms around domestic violence: social dilemmas and the role of altruism," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 8(1), pages 1-15, December.
    11. Eleonora Guarnieri & Helmut Rainer, 2018. "Female Empowerment and Male Backlash," CESifo Working Paper Series 7009, CESifo.
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    13. Emilia Barili & Veronica Grembi & Anna Rosso, 2021. "Domestic Violence and Gender Stereotypes: Perceptions, Justifications, and Reactions," Development Working Papers 474, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    14. Daria Denti & Simona Iammarino, 2020. "Coming out of the woods. Do local support services influence the propensity to report sexual violence?," Discussion Paper series in Regional Science & Economic Geography 2020-03, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Social Sciences, revised Jun 2020.
    15. Lin-Chi Hsu, 2017. "The Timing Of Welfare Payments And Intimate Partner Violence," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(2), pages 1017-1031, April.
    16. Leslie, Emily & Wilson, Riley, 2020. "Sheltering in place and domestic violence: Evidence from calls for service during COVID-19," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    17. Cook, Jeremy A. & Taylor, Timothy W., 2019. "The impact of mandatory arrest laws on domestic violence in times of economic stress," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 77-81.
    18. García-Ramos, Aixa, 2021. "Divorce laws and intimate partner violence: Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
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    20. Zhang, Yinjunjie & Breunig, Robert, 2021. "Gender Norms and Domestic Abuse: Evidence From Australia," IZA Discussion Papers 14225, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Domestic violence Time inconsistency Commitment;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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