NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Wages, Violence and Health in the Household

Anna Aizer

NBER Working Paper No. 13494
Issued in October 2007
NBER Program(s):   CH   HE   LS

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13494

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