Could Culture Explain Domestic Violence in Spain?
39 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2018 Last revised: 30 Jan 2018
Date Written: September 1, 2017
Domestic violence affects women across all racial, national, social, and economic groups. Could these acts of violent behaviour be explained by a society's culture? Using the 2014 Spanish Survey of Domestic Violence, I study the effect of culture on domestic violence exploiting the variation in men's countries of origin. I use three cultural proxies: Gender Inequality Index, Rule of Law and History of Civil War Conflict in the husband's home country. I show that these proxies have positive and significant explanatory power for husbands' propensity to commit domestic violence, finding the strongest effect for Gender Inequality Index. In particular, an increase by one standard deviation in Gender Inequality Index in the man's country of origin increases the probability to commit domestic violence by about three percentage points. These results are robust to different specifications.
Keywords: Domestic violence, culture, Gender Inequality Index, Rule of Law, History of Civil War Conflict, Spain.
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