Violence Against Women, Social Learning, and Deterrence
Hugo M. Mialon
Emory University - Department of Economics
Sue H. Mialon
September 30, 2004
We develop a simple model of sexual and domestic violence. By assumption, the potential victim's threat to report if she is victimized is not credible, which implies that the only sequential equilibrium involves violence. However, a realistic social learning process converges to a non-sequential equilibrium without violence from all nearby states if the expected punishment for offenders whose victims report to the police is sufficiently high. A policy to increase the sentences for sexual and domestic violence convictions could therefore substantially reduce such violence in the long run, even if it is powerless to make women's threats to report credible.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Keywords: Violence, Learning, Deterrence
JEL Classification: K42
Date posted: October 4, 2004
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