Health, Human Capital and Domestic Violence

72 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2016

See all articles by Nicholas W. Papageorge

Nicholas W. Papageorge

Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics

Gwyn Pauley

University of Southern California

Mardge Cohen

Rush University

Tracey Wilson

State University of New York (SUNY) - SUNY-Downstate School of Public Health

Barton H. Hamilton

Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business

Robert A. Pollak

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: December 2016

Abstract

We study the impact of a medical breakthrough (HAART) on domestic violence and illicit drug use among low-income women infected with HIV. To identify causal effects, we assume that variation in women's immune system health when HAART was introduced affected how strongly their experience of domestic violence or drug use responded to the breakthrough. Immune system health is objectively measured using white blood cell (CD4) counts. Because the women in our sample were informed of their CD4 count, it is reasonable to assume they react to it. Using this identification strategy, we find that HAART introduction reduced domestic violence and illicit drug use. To explain our estimates, we treat health as a form of human capital and argue that women with more human capital face stronger incentives to make costly investments with future payoffs, such as avoiding abusive partners or reducing illicit drug use.

Suggested Citation

Papageorge, Nicholas W. and Pauley, Gwyn and Cohen, Mardge and Wilson, Tracey and Hamilton, Barton H. and Pollak, Robert A., Health, Human Capital and Domestic Violence (December 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22887. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2880326

Nicholas W. Papageorge (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics ( email )

3400 Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-2685
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Gwyn Pauley

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Mardge Cohen

Rush University ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States

Tracey Wilson

State University of New York (SUNY) - SUNY-Downstate School of Public Health ( email )

450 Clarkson Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11203
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Barton H. Hamilton

Washington University, Saint Louis - John M. Olin School of Business ( email )

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St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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HOME PAGE: http://www.olin.wustl.edu/faculty/hamiltonb/

Robert A. Pollak

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States
314-935-4918 (Phone)
314-935-6359 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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