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The Threat of Domestic Violence and Women Empowerment: The Case of West Africa

In this paper we assess the significance of a set of threats of domestic violence in ten West African countries that we argue limit the potential of women in particular and the development of society. Our data consists of the most recent year of a country-specific Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), conducted in the same way for each participating country. The risk of domestic violence and the intensity of its threat are assessed using different probabilistic model specifications together with an assessment of how heterogeneous/homogenous are these effects across the set of countries. The overall results suggest that religion has played a significant role in relation to domestic violence in most countries, the exceptions being Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Area of residence has played an important positive role in Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal and Sierra Leone while the level of well-being and/or household’s level of wealth have a significant negative impact on the threat of domestic violence in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. Finally, the factor that we feel has been most important in reducing the threat of domestic violence has been improvement in the status and/or autonomy of women. This is characterized in our sample by the fact that wife is working, plays a decision making role in the family, is sexually active and has a higher level of education.

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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 13-05.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 22 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: Carleton Economic Papers
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:13-05
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  1. Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
  2. Robert A. Pollak, 2002. "An Intergenerational Model of Domestic Violence," NBER Working Papers 9099, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Tauchen, Helen & Witte, Ann Dryden, 1995. "The Dynamics of Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 414-18, May.
  5. Apps, Patricia F. & Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the household," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 355-369, April.
  6. Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 1999. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument : A Case-Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  7. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  9. Farmer, Amy & Tiefenthaler, Jill, 1996. "Domestic Violence: The Value of Services as Signals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 274-79, May.
  10. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-64, September.
  11. Bourguignon, Francois & Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective models of household behavior : An introduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 355-364, April.
  12. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3106943 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
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