Domestic Violence and Child Nutrition in Latin America: A Bargaining Power Approach
María E. Dávalos
Indhira Vanessa Santos
Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)
Domestic violence is widespread in Latin America. Of 136,500 women surveyed in sixteen Latin American countries, 20% reported physical abuse by their partners. This paper uses a bargaining power model and survey data for Colombia, Dominican Republic and Haiti to explore the relationship between domestic violence and child nutrition. Domestic violence, reflecting women's status in the household, affects children's nutritional outcomes through its effects on the demand for health inputs. We find evidence that domestic violence decreases the probability of a child being breastfed and immunized. Similarly, domestic violence reduces the likelihood that a woman receives appropriate pre-natal care, including adequate iron intake and doctor visits. We conclude that domestic violence has an adverse effect on children's long-term nutritional status, which in turn has potential implications for children's performance in school and in the workforce.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: domestic violence, bargaining, child health, Latin America, Dominican Republic, Haiti
JEL Classification: D13, I10, I12, J13, O12working papers series
Date posted: June 2, 2006
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