The Dynamics of Domestic Violence: Does Arrest Matter?

15 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2000 Last revised: 28 Jul 2010

See all articles by Helen Tauchen

Helen Tauchen

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ann Dryden Witte

Wellesley College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 1994

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate a stochastic-dynamic model for domestic violence using data collected by the Minneapolis Domestic Violence Experiment. Our primary finding is that arrest deters domestic violence, but the effect wears off quite quickly. We find also that current employment for the male is associated with lower levels of violence. Like arrest, the effect of employment is transitory. If the male becomes unemployed, the level of violence will increase quite rapidly. Violence in one period is associated with higher probabilities of violence in subsequent periods. From a methodological perspective, our results suggest that policy evaluation and deterrence research would benefit from using models that allow examination of the dynamic path of intervention effects. The effect of private and social programs need not be constant over time, and applying traditional, static models that necessarily impose such an assumption may produce misleading results. For Minneapolis, static models produced the result `arrest works.' The dynamic model suggests a different conclusion `arrest buys us a little time.'

Suggested Citation

Tauchen, Helen V. and Dryden Witte, Ann, The Dynamics of Domestic Violence: Does Arrest Matter? (November 1994). NBER Working Paper No. w4939, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=226539

Helen V. Tauchen

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
919-966-2384 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ann Dryden Witte (Contact Author)

Wellesley College - Department of Economics ( email )

106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02181
United States
781-283-2163 (Phone)
781-283-2177 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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