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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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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Eleonora Guarnieri & Helmut Rainer, 2018. "Female Empowerment and Male Backlash," CESifo Working Paper Series 7009, CESifo Group Munich.
    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.
    4. Javier Torres & Fiorella Parra & Jorge Rubio, 2017. "Transmisión educativa intergeneracional en el Perú: un cálculo para las generaciones nacidas entre 1950-1989," Working Papers 2017-101, Peruvian Economic Association.
    5. Banerjee, Swapnendu, 2018. "‘Women on top’ and/or ‘economic progress’: What affects actual and reported crime against women? An analysis of socio-economic factors in India," MPRA Paper 84428, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:1017-1031 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. 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.
    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. Anna Aizer, 2011. "Poverty, Violence, and Health: The Impact of Domestic Violence During Pregnancy on Newborn Health," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 518-538.

    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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