An Intergenerational Model of Domestic Violence

30 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2002

See all articles by Robert A. Pollak

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: August 2002

Abstract

This paper proposes and analyzes an intergenerational model of domestic violence (IMDV) in which behavioral strategies or scripts are transmitted from parents to children. The model rests upon three key assumptions: * The probability that a husband will be violent depends on whether he grew up in a violent home. * The probability that a wife will remain with a violent husband depends on whether she grew up in a violent home. * Individuals who grew up in violent homes tend to marry individuals who grew up in violent homes. The IMDV calls attention to three features neglected in the domestic violence literature. The first is the marriage market. If some men are more likely than others to be violent as husbands and some women are more likely than others to remain in violent marriages, then the probability that such individuals marry each other is crucial. The second neglected feature is divorce: ongoing domestic violence requires the conjunction of a husband who is violent and a wife who stays. Third, variables and policies that reduce the rate of domestic violence in the short run are likely to reduce it even further in the long run.

Suggested Citation

Pollak, Robert A., An Intergenerational Model of Domestic Violence (August 2002). NBER Working Paper No. w9099. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=324042

Robert A. Pollak (Contact Author)

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