The Causal Impact of Women's Age at Marriage on Domestic Violence in India
43 Pages Posted: 29 May 2018
Date Written: May 18, 2018
Domestic violence affects one in three women in their lifetime. It remains a crucial problem with adverse health and economic consequences in both developed and developing countries. In this paper, we provide the first causal analysis of the impact of women's age at marriage on prevalence of domestic violence using newly available nationally representative household data from India. We use an empirical strategy that utilizes variation in age at menarche to obtain exogenous variation in women's age at marriage. We find robust evidence that a one-year delay in women’s marriage causes a significant decline in physical violence, although it has no impact on sexual or emotional violence. Our findings confirm the relevance of policies that seek to prevent child marriages or delay marriages of women in reducing the prevalence of domestic violence in a developing country.
Keywords: Age at Marriage, Domestic Violence, India, Instrumental Variables, Women
JEL Classification: J12, J16, O12, O15
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