We study whether transfer programs in which funds are targeted to
women decrease the incidence of spousal abuse. We examine the
impact of the Mexican Oportunidades program on spousal abuse
rates and threats of violence using data from a specialized survey.
Beneficiary women are 40 percent less likely to be victims of physical
abuse, but are more likely to receive violent threats with no associated
abuse. This evidence is consistent with a model of decision-makers'
interactions with asymmetric information in the male partner's gains
to marriage, who can then use threats of violence to extract rents
from their female partners. (JEL D82, J12, J16, K42, O15, O17)
Bobonis, Gustavo J., Melissa González-Brenes, and Roberto Castro.
"Public Transfers and Domestic Violence: The Roles of Private Information and Spousal Control."
American Economic Journal: Economic Policy,
Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements