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CERGAS Seminar joint with Dondena "Women Empowerment and Domestic Violence"
| Milano - Via Roentgen 1, 3 B3 SR01

| 28/11/2019 h.12.45
CERGAS Seminar joint with Dondena "Women Empowerment and Domestic Violence"

Abstract

Violence against women is a human rights violation and domestic violence represents its most important component. Whilst some literature report female empowerment as a protective factor against domestic violence, some find the opposite given that husbands may attempt to compensate for enhanced women status. Using the sample of eligible women aged 15-49 with valid response on domestic violence in the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) (n=10,150), the general purpose of the present paper is to investigate the effects of empowerment on domestic violence.  Our focus is on empowerment in the form of marital age and education. The main contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we establish a causal relationship between empowerment and domestic violence taking into account the endogeneity of marital age and education. We use a well-known instrument and run a series of Instrumental Variable (IV) regressions using the age at menarche as an exogenous and strong instrument. Second, we further disentangle the relations between age at marriage and education and domestic violence. In addition, we investigate two main channels through which marital age and education can exert their effect on domestic violence: labour market participation and spousal quality. We show that: i) empowered women do experience less domestic violence; ii) marital age and education are partially complementary; iii) labour market participation and spousal quality are relevant mediators of these relations; iv) policies aiming at reducing domestic violence in India should be holistic, focussing on both women and men and improving the conditions of the women’ labour market.