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The impact of unemployment on child maltreatment in the United States

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  • Brown, Dan
  • De Cao, Elisabetta

Abstract

We study the effect of unemployment on child maltreatment in the United States for the period 2004-12, at the county level. We use a new administrative dataset containing every report of child abuse and neglect made to the Child Protective Services, and identify the effect using a Bartik instrument. A one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate causes a 20 percent increase in neglect. We provide evidence that parents’ lack of social and private safety nets is an important mechanism behind the effect. Our results capture an effect on the actual incidence of neglect and not reporting behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Dan & De Cao, Elisabetta, 2018. "The impact of unemployment on child maltreatment in the United States," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-04, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2018-04
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    2. Zaidi Yob & Mohd Shahidan Shaari & Miguel Angel Esquivias & Benjamin Nangle & Wan Zuki Azman Wan Muhamad, 2022. "The Impacts of Poverty, Unemployment, and Divorce on Child Abuse in Malaysia: ARDL Approach," Economies, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-14, November.
    3. Monahan, Emma Kahle, 2020. "Income instability and child maltreatment: Exploring associations and mechanisms," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Lisa A. Gennetian & Christopher Rodrigues, 2021. "Mothers’ and Fathers’ Time Spent with Children in the U.S.: Variations by Race/Ethnicity Within Income from 2003 to 2013," Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 34-46, March.
    5. Borchert, Kathrin & Hirth, Matthias & Kummer, Michael E. & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Slivko, Olga & Viete, Steffen, 2018. "Unemployment and online labor," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-023, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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