IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_7009.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Female Empowerment and Male Backlash

Author

Listed:
  • Eleonora Guarnieri

    ()

  • Helmut Rainer

    ()

Abstract

Do policies and institutions that promote women’s economic empowerment have a long-term impact on intimate partner violence? We address this question by exploiting a natural experiment of history in Cameroon. From the end of WWI until 1961, the western territories of today’s Cameroon were arbitrarily divided between France and the United Kingdom, whose colonial regimes opened up divergent economic opportunities for women in an otherwise culturally and geographically homogeneous setting. Women in British territories benefited from a universal education system and gained opportunities for paid employment. The French colonial practice in these domains centered around educating a small administrative elite and investing in the male employment-dominated infrastructure sector. Using a geographical regression discontinuity design, we show that women in former British territories are 36% more likely to be victims of domestic violence than those in former French territories. Among a broad set of possible channels of persistence, only one turns out statistically significant and quantitatively important: women in former British territories are 37% more likely to be in paid employment than their counterparts in former French areas. We demonstrate that the incidence of domestic violence in former British areas is not uniformly higher for reasons unrelated to this channel: the discontinuity for domestic violence is almost entirely explained by women who hold paid jobs and have partners who object spousal employment. These results are incompatible with household bargaining models that incorporate domestic violence but they are accommodated by theories of male backlash.

Suggested Citation

  • Eleonora Guarnieri & Helmut Rainer, 2018. "Female Empowerment and Male Backlash," CESifo Working Paper Series 7009, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7009
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp7009.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 1999. "The Quality of Government," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 222-279, April.
    2. David Card & Gordon B. Dahl, 2011. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 103-143.
    3. Esther Duflo, 2012. "Women Empowerment and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1051-1079, December.
    4. La Mattina, Giulia, 2017. "Civil conflict, domestic violence and intra-household bargaining in post-genocide Rwanda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 168-198.
    5. Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Polygyny, Fertility, and Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1341-1370, December.
    6. Nathan Nunn, 2008. "The Long-term Effects of Africa's Slave Trades," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 139-176.
    7. Dan Anderberg & Helmut Rainer & Jonathan Wadsworth & Tanya Wilson, 2016. "Unemployment and Domestic Violence: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(597), pages 1947-1979, November.
    8. Fenske, James, 2015. "African polygamy: Past and present," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 58-73.
    9. Lee, Alexander & Schultz, Kenneth A., 2012. "Comparing British and French Colonial Legacies: A Discontinuity Analysis of Cameroon," Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 7(4), pages 365-410, October.
    10. Cogneau, Denis & Moradi, Alexander, 2014. "Borders That Divide: Education and Religion in Ghana and Togo Since Colonial Times," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 74(03), pages 694-729, September.
    11. Lucia Breierova & Esther Duflo, 2003. "The Impact of Education on Fertility and Child Mortality: Do Fathers Really Matter Less Than Mothers?," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 217, OECD Publishing.
    12. Dupraz, Yannick, 2017. "French and British Colonial Legacies in Education: Evidence from the Partition of Cameroon," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 333, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    13. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
    14. Sofia Amaral, 2015. "Do Improved Property Rights Decrease Violence Against Women in India?," Discussion Papers 15-10, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
    15. Ralph Sundberg & Erik Melander, 2013. "Introducing the UCDP Georeferenced Event Dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 50(4), pages 523-532, July.
    16. Nathan Nunn & Leonard Wantchekon, 2011. "The Slave Trade and the Origins of Mistrust in Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3221-3252, December.
    17. 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.
    18. Ana Tur-Prats, 2017. "Unemployment and intimate-partner violence: A gender-identity approach," Economics Working Papers 1564, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    19. Nancy Qian, 2008. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1251-1285.
    20. Moscona, Jacob & Nunn, Nathan & Robinson, James A, 2018. "Social Structure and Conflict: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 13030, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Melissa González-Brenes & Roberto Castro, 2013. "Public Transfers and Domestic Violence: The Roles of Private Information and Spousal Control," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 179-205, February.
    22. repec:aea:aejapp:v:10:y:2018:i:1:p:64-105 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288.
    24. Bertocchi, Graziella & Canova, Fabio, 2002. "Did colonization matter for growth?: An empirical exploration into the historical causes of Africa's underdevelopment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1851-1871, December.
    25. Melissa Dell, 2010. "The Persistent Effects of Peru's Mining Mita," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 1863-1903, November.
    26. 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.
    27. Alberto Alesina & Benedetta Brioschi & Eliana La Ferrara, 2016. "Violence Against Women: A Cross-cultural Analysis for Africa," NBER Working Papers 21901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Kaivan Munshi & Mark Rosenzweig, 2006. "Traditional Institutions Meet the Modern World: Caste, Gender, and Schooling Choice in a Globalizing Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1225-1252, September.
    29. repec:hrv:faseco:30747160 is not listed on IDEAS
    30. Jacob Moscona & Nathan Nunn & James A. Robinson, 2018. "Kinship and Conflict: Evidence from Segmentary Lineage Societies in Sub-Saharan Africa," NBER Working Papers 24209, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Melissa Hidrobo & Amber Peterman & Lori Heise, 2016. "The Effect of Cash, Vouchers, and Food Transfers on Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Northern Ecuador," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 284-303, July.
    32. repec:hrv:faseco:33077826 is not listed on IDEAS
    33. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Report 2012
      [Rapport sur le développement dans le monde 2012]
      ," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4391, September.
    34. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-1859, September.
    35. Angelucci Manuela, 2008. "Love on the Rocks: Domestic Violence and Alcohol Abuse in Rural Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-43, October.
    36. Michael Koenig & Saifuddin Ahmed & Mian Hossain & A. Mozumder, 2003. "Women’s status and domestic violence in rural Bangladesh: Individual- and community-level effects," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 269-288, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    colonization; female economic empowerment; intimate partner violence;

    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
    • N37 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_7009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.