NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Income Changes and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from Unconditional Cash Transfers in Kenya

Johannes Haushofer, Charlotte Ringdal, Jeremy P. Shapiro, Xiao Yu Wang

NBER Working Paper No. 25627
Issued in March 2019
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Health Economics

We study the impact of randomized unconditional cash transfers to both men and women on intimate partner violence in Kenya. Transfers to women averaging USD 709 reduced physical and sexual violence (–0.26, –0.22 standard deviations). Transfers to men reduced only physical violence (–0.18 SD). We find evidence of spillovers: physical violence towards non-recipient women in treatment villages decreased (–0.16 SD). We show theoretically that transfers to both men and women are needed to understand why violence occurs. Our theory suggests that husbands use physical violence to extract resources, but dislike it, while the converse may be true for sexual violence.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25627

 
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