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Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Domestic Violence in Los Angeles

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Listed:
  • Amalia R. Miller
  • Carmit Segal
  • Melissa K. Spencer

Abstract

Around the world, policymakers and news reports have warned that domestic violence (DV) could increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant restrictions on individual mobility and commercial activity. However, both anecdotal accounts and academic research have found inconsistent effects of the pandemic on DV across measures and cities. We use high-frequency, real-time data from Los Angeles on 911 calls, crime incidents, arrests, and calls to a DV hotline to study the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns on DV. We find conflicting effects within that single city and even across measures from the same source. We also find varying effects between the initial shutdown period and the one following the initial re-opening. DV calls to police and to the hotline increased during the initial shutdown, but DV crimes decreased, as did arrests for those crimes. The period following re-opening showed a continued decrease in DV crimes and arrests, as well as decreases in calls to the police and to the hotline. Our results highlight the heterogeneous effects of the pandemic across DV measures and caution against relying on a single data type or source.

Suggested Citation

  • Amalia R. Miller & Carmit Segal & Melissa K. Spencer, 2020. "Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Domestic Violence in Los Angeles," NBER Working Papers 28068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Lindsey Rose Bullinger & Jillian B. Carr & Analisa Packham, 2020. "COVID-19 and Crime: Effects of Stay-at-Home Orders on Domestic Violence," NBER Working Papers 27667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-1859, September.
    4. Muchow, Ashley N. & Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina, 2020. "Immigration enforcement awareness and community engagement with police: Evidence from domestic violence calls in Los Angeles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C).
    5. Amalia R Miller & Carmit Segal, 2019. "Do Female Officers Improve Law Enforcement Quality? Effects on Crime Reporting and Domestic Violence," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(5), pages 2220-2247.
    6. Santiago Perez-Vincent & Enrique Carreras & María Amelia Gibbons & Tomás E. Murphy & Martín Rossi, 2020. "COVID-19 Lockdowns and Domestic Violence: Evidence from Two Studies in Argentina," Working Papers 143, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jul 2020.
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Employment and Work > Intra-household allocation

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hugues Champeaux & Francesca Marchetta, 2021. "Couples in lockdown, "La vie en rose" ? Evidence from France," CERDI Working papers hal-03149087, HAL.
    2. Denti, Daria & Iammarino, Simona, 2022. "Coming Out of the Woods. Do local support services influence the propensity to report sexual violence?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 193(C), pages 334-352.
    3. Sonia Bhalotra & Emilia Brito & Damian Clarke & Pilar Larroulet & Francisco J. Pino, 2021. "Dynamic impacts of lockdown on domestic violence: Evidence from multiple policy shifts in Chile," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-189, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Alexander Henke & Linchi Hsu, 2022. "COVID-19 and Domestic Violence: Economics or Isolation?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 296-309, June.
    5. Diana Jiménez-Rodríguez & María Teresa Belmonte García & Azucena Santillán García & Fernando Jesús Plaza del Pino & Alicia Ponce-Valencia & Oscar Arrogante, 2020. "Nurse Training in Gender-Based Violence Using Simulated Nursing Video Consultations during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Study," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(22), pages 1-15, November.
    6. Kyriakos C. Neanidis & Maria Paola Rana, 2021. "Crime in the Era of COVID-19: Evidence from England," Economics Discussion Paper Series 2103, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    7. Miller, Amalia R. & Segal, Carmit & Spencer, Melissa K., 2022. "Effects of COVID‐19 shutdowns on domestic violence in US cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    8. Berniell, Inés & Facchini, Gabriel, 2021. "COVID-19 lockdown and domestic violence: Evidence from internet-search behavior in 11 countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • 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
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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