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An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence


  • Amy Farmer
  • Jill Tiefenthaler


While economists have been studying the family as an economic unit for almost thirty years, most models have focused on cooperative family units. Domestic violence, one of the most widespread violent crimes against women, is one example of a family unit that is better explained as a noncooperative re1ationship. In this paper, a noncooperative model of domestic violence is presented. The comparative statics from this model predict that women's incomes and other financial support received from outside the marriage (family, welfare, shelters, divorce settlements, etc.) will decrease the level of violence in intact families because they increase the woman's threat point. Implications of the theoretical model are discussed and empirical evidence is summarized. The results from existing and new analysis provide support for the hypothesis that improved economic opportunities for women will decrease the level of violence in abusive re1ationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:55:y:1997:i:3:p:337-358 DOI: 10.1080/00346769700000004

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