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Unemployment and Domestic Violence: Theory and Evidence

  • Dan Anderberg
  • Helmut Rainer


  • Jonathan Wadsworth
  • Tanya Wilson

Is unemployment the overwhelming determinant of domestic violence that many commentators expect it to be? The contribution of this paper is to examine, theoretically and empirically, how changes in unemployment affect the incidence of domestic abuse. The key theoretical prediction is that male and female unemployment have opposite-signed effects on domestic abuse: anincrease in male unemployment decreases the incidence of intimate partner violence, while an increase in female unemployment increases domestic abuse. Combining data on intimate partnerviolence from the British Crime Survey with locally disaggregated labor market data from the UK’s Annual Population Survey, we find strong evidence in support of the theoretical prediction.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4315.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4315
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  10. Schmidt, Stefanie R, 1999. "Long-Run Trends in Workers' Beliefs about Their Own Job Security: Evidence from the General Social Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S127-41, October.
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  12. Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
  13. Francis Bloch & Vijayendra Rao, 2002. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1029-1043, September.
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