Can Financial Literacy Reduce Domestic Violence?

54 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2021 Last revised: 18 Mar 2022

See all articles by Phong T. H. Ngo

Phong T. H. Ngo

Australian National University (ANU)

Diego Puente-Moncayo

Australian National University (ANU)

Date Written: March 15, 2022


Yes. Using data on more than 3.7 million intimate partner violence (IPV) incidents between 1994 and 2016, and exploiting the staggered introduction of state-mandated personal finance high school graduation requirements across U.S. states for identification, we show that improvements in women's financial literacy can significantly reduce the rates of violence against women perpetrated by their male partners. We conservatively estimate a reduction in violence by between 3% and 11%. Our evidence points to financial literacy deterring financial abuse, thereby empowering women to leave abusive relationships earlier or by preventing the first incident from ever occurring.

Keywords: financial literacy, domestic violence

JEL Classification: A20, G53, H75, J16

Suggested Citation

Ngo, Phong T. H. and Puente Moncayo, Diego, Can Financial Literacy Reduce Domestic Violence? (March 15, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Phong T. H. Ngo (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

RSFAS, College of Business and Economics
Australian National University
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
+61 2 6125 1079 (Phone)


Diego Puente Moncayo

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601

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