Child Support Enforcement and Domestic Violence Among Non-Cohabiting Couples
Angela R. Fertig
Medica Research Institute
Columbia University - School of Social Work
Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Some advocates worry that stronger child support enforcement may increase domestic violence. The predictions of a simple economic model are ambiguous; stronger enforcement may increase the mother's bargaining power, which reduces violence, but may also increase the father's opportunity and motive for violence thereby increasing violence. This paper examines whether enforcement is associated with domestic violence using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. We find that stricter enforcement increases the risk of violence among non-cohabiting mothers who receive welfare and have not obtained legal entitlement to child support. Controlling for sample selection and using difference-in-differences strengthens the result.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 43
Keywords: child support enforcement, domestic violence, bargaining power
JEL Classification: D1, I1, I3, J1
Date posted: April 14, 2006
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