Income Changes and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from Unconditional Cash Transfers in Kenya

57 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2019

See all articles by Johannes Haushofer

Johannes Haushofer

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Charlotte Ringdal

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Jeremy Shapiro

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics

Xiao Yu Wang

Duke University

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

In a previous study, we found an improvement in female empowerment after randomized unconditional cash transfers in Kenya (Haushofer and Shapiro 2016). Here we report detailed impacts of these transfers on physical and sexual intimate partner violence, and construct a theory to explain them. Transfers to women averaging USD 709 reduced physical and sexual violence (-0:26, -0:22 standard deviations). Transfers to men reduced physical violence (-0:18 SD). We find spillovers: physical violence towards non-recipient women in treatment villages decreased (-0:16 SD). We show theoretically that transfers to both men and women are needed to understand why violence occurs. Our theory suggests that husbands use physical violence to extract resources, but dislike it, while sexual violence is not used to extract resources, but is pleasurable.

Suggested Citation

Haushofer, Johannes and Ringdal, Charlotte and Shapiro, Jeremy and Wang, Xiao Yu, Income Changes and Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from Unconditional Cash Transfers in Kenya (March 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w25627. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3354284

Johannes Haushofer (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Charlotte Ringdal

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Jeremy Shapiro

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics ( email )

Nairobi
Kenya

Xiao Yu Wang

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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