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Warrantless arrest laws for domestic violence: How are youth affected?


  • Kabir Dasgupta

    () (NZ Work Research Institute, Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law, Auckland Univeristy of Technology)

  • Gail Pacheco

    () (School of Economics, Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law, Auckland Univeristy of Technology)


This study empirically examines the impact of warrantless arrest laws (designed to deter domestic violence) on multiple youth outcomes. Utilizing variation in the timing of implementation of the laws, and employing a difference in differences framework, we examine both the direct and indirect impacts on youth in the United States. There appears to be no significant direct link between warrantless arrest laws and domestic violence‐related homicides. However, on the indirect front, we do find strong evidence that implementation of the arrest laws result in a drop in the probability of youth experiencing suicidal ideation, and some evidence pointing to a drop in their likelihood of engaging in substance use behaviour. This analysis also accounts for important heterogeneities in laws across states, and our findings are robust to multiple sensitivity checks, aimed at addressing key threats to identification.

Suggested Citation

  • Kabir Dasgupta & Gail Pacheco, 2016. "Warrantless arrest laws for domestic violence: How are youth affected?," Working Papers 2016-07, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:aut:wpaper:201607

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. April M. Zeoli & Alexis Norris & Hannah Brenner, 2011. "Mandatory, Preferred, or Discretionary: How the Classification of Domestic Violence Warrantless Arrest Laws Impacts Their Estimated Effects on Intimate Partner Homicide," Evaluation Review, , vol. 35(2), pages 129-152, April.
    3. Markowitz, Sara & Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The effects of beer taxes on physical child abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 271-282, March.
    4. D. Mark Anderson & Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees, 2015. "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 495-528.
    5. Sabia, Joseph J. & Pitts, M. Melinda & Argys, Laura, 2014. "Do Minimum Wages Really Increase Youth Drinking and Drunk Driving?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2014-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769, December.
    7. Sara Markowitz & Michael Grossman, 1998. "Alcohol Regulation And Domestic Violence Towards Children," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(3), pages 309-320, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Sabia, Joseph J. & Bass, Brittany, 2015. "Do Anti-Bullying Laws Reduce Youth Violence?," IZA Discussion Papers 9201, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Benjamin Hansen & Daniel I. Rees & Joseph J. Sabia, 2013. "Cigarette Taxes and How Youths Obtain Cigarettes," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 66(2), pages 371-394, June.
    11. Tauchen, Helen V & Witte, Ann Dryden & Long, Sharon K, 1991. "Domestic Violence: A Nonrandom Affair," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 491-511, May.
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    More about this item


    Domestic violence; Warrantless arrest laws; Homicide; Youth; Mental health; Difference‐in‐differences;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law

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