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Wages, Violence and Health in the Household

  • Anna Aizer

Three quarters of all violence against women is perpetrated by domestic partners. I study both the economic causes and consequences of domestic violence. I find that decreases in the male-female wage gap reduce violence against women, consistent with a household bargaining model. The relationship between the wage gap and violence suggests that reductions in violence may provide an alternative explanation for the well-established finding that child health improves when mothers control a greater share of the household resources. Using instrumental variable and propsensity score techniques to control for selection into violent relationships, I find that violence against pregnant women negatively affects the health of their children at birth. This work sheds new light on the health production process as well as observed income gradients in health and suggests that in addition to addressing concerns of equity, pay parity can also improve the health of American women and children via reductions in violence.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13494.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13494.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13494
Note: CH HE LS
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  1. 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.
  2. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 1999. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," NBER Working Papers 7003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," NBER Working Papers 10175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
  5. Ehud Kalai, 1983. "Solutions to the Bargaining Problem," Discussion Papers 556, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  6. Audra J. Bowlus & Shannon Seitz, 2006. "Domestic Violence, Employment, And Divorce," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1113-1149, November.
  7. Thomas S. Dee, 2003. "Until Death Do You Part: The Effects of Unilateral Divorce on Spousal Homicides," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(1), pages 163-182, January.
  8. Robert A. Pollak, 2005. "Bargaining Power in Marriage: Earnings, Wage Rates and Household Production," NBER Working Papers 11239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "Local Labor Markets And Welfare Spells: Do Demand Conditions Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 351-368, August.
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