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A fuzzy approach to measuring violence against women and its severity


  • Bettio, Francesca
  • Ticci, Elisa
  • Betti, Gianni


We develop a scale of severity of violence against women based on fuzzy set theory. The scale can be used to derive fuzzy indexes of violence which account for the prevalence, frequency and severity of violence. Using the results of the survey conducted by the European Agency for Human Rights (FRA) we find strong congruence of ranking between the proposed scale and three widely used alternatives – the Conflict Tactic Scale, The Severity of Violence Against Women Scale and the Index of Spouse Abuse. Unlike existing alternatives, however, the scale that we propose is based on objective information rather than subjective assessment; it is parsimonious in terms of the amount of information that it requires; and it is less vulnerable to risks of cultural bias. As an example of the uses to which fuzzy measurement of violence can be put, we compute fuzzy indexes of intimate partner violence for European countries and find a clear, inverse correlation across countries with the degree of gender equality.

Suggested Citation

  • Bettio, Francesca & Ticci, Elisa & Betti, Gianni, 2018. "A fuzzy approach to measuring violence against women and its severity," GLO Discussion Paper Series 171, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:171

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnstein Aassve & Gianni Betti & Stefano Mazzuco & Letizia Mencarini, 2007. "Marital disruption and economic well‐being: a comparative analysis," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(3), pages 781-799, July.
    2. Gianni Betti & Antonella D’Agostino & Laura Neri, 2011. "Educational Mismatch of Graduates: a Multidimensional and Fuzzy Indicator," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 103(3), pages 465-480, September.
    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. Gianni Betti & Francesca Gagliardi & Achille Lemmi & Vijay Verma, 2015. "Comparative measures of multidimensional deprivation in the European Union," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1071-1100, November.
    5. Gianni Betti & Rossella Soldi & Ilija Talev, 2016. "Fuzzy Multidimensional Indicators of Quality of Life: The Empirical Case of Macedonia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(1), pages 39-53, May.
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    More about this item


    violence against women; fuzzy set theory; severity of violence scales; Europe; gender;

    JEL classification:

    • C49 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Other
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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