Unemployment and Domestic Violence: Theory and Evidence
While many commentators perceive unemployment to be a key risk factor for intimate partner violence, the empirical evidence remains limited. We combine individual-level data from the British Crime Survey (BCS) with local labor market data to estimate the effects of total and gender-specific unemployment rates on domestic violence. The analysis uses the substantial variation in the increase in unemployment across areas, gender, and age-groups associated with the onset of the latest recession. Our main specification links a woman's risk of being abused to the unemployment rate among females and males in her local area and age group. Our results suggest that male and female unemployment have opposite-signed effects on domestic violence: while female unemployment increases the risk abuse, unemployment among males has the opposite effect. The result is shown to be robust to the inclusion of a wide set of control and also remains when we instrument for male and female unemployment using shift-share indices of labor demand. We argue that our findings are consistent with a theory of domestic violence in which (i) marriage provides insurance against employment risk through the pooling of resources, and (ii) a woman does not know the violent predisposition of her partner but infers it from his behavior. When the male partner face a high risk of unemployment, a potentially abusive husband strategically conceals his type as he has an economic incentive to avoid divorce and the associated loss of spousal insurance. However, when the female spouse faces a high risk of unemployment, her expected financial dependency on her partner prompts a husband with violent predisposition to reveal his abusive nature.
|Date of creation:||2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/|
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of Domestic Violence," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(3), pages 337-358.
- Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, November.
- Robert A. Pollak, 2004.
"An intergenerational model of domestic violence,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 311-329, 06.
- David Campbell & Alan Carruth & Andrew Dickerson & Francis Green, 2008.
"Job Insecurity and Wages,"
Studies in Economics
0813, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- In-Koo Cho & David M. Kreps, 1987.
"Signaling Games and Stable Equilibria,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 179-221.
- Card, David & Dahl, Gordon B., 2010.
"Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4869, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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.
- David Card & Gordon Dahl, 2009. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," NBER Working Papers 15497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Card & Gordon Dahl, 2009. "Family Violence and Football: The Effect of Unexpected Emotional Cues on Violent Behavior," RCER Working Papers 546, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 2000.
"Terror as a bargaining instrument : a case study of dowry violence in rural India,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2347, The World Bank.
- 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.
- Bloch, Francis & Rao, Vijayendra, 1999. "Terror as a Bargaining Instrument : A Case-Study of Dowry Violence in Rural India," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1999020, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
- Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
- Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Alcohol abuse and economic conditions: Evidence from repeated cross-sections of individual-level data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(3), pages 257-270.
- Cochrane, John H, 1991. "A Simple Test of Consumption Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 957-76, October.
- Anna Aizer, 2010. "The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1847-59, September.
- 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.
- Schmidt, Stefanie R, 1999. "Long-Run Trends in Workers' Beliefs about Their Own Job Security: Evidence from the General Social Survey," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages S127-41, October.
- Riddell, W Craig, 1981. "Bargaining under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 579-90, September.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79803. 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: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.