Child Support Enforcement and Domestic Violence Among Non-Cohabiting Couples
43 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2006
Date Written: March 2006
Some advocates worry that stronger child support enforcement may increase domestic violence. The predictions of a simple economic model are ambiguous; stronger enforcement may increase the mother's bargaining power, which reduces violence, but may also increase the father's opportunity and motive for violence thereby increasing violence. This paper examines whether enforcement is associated with domestic violence using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. We find that stricter enforcement increases the risk of violence among non-cohabiting mothers who receive welfare and have not obtained legal entitlement to child support. Controlling for sample selection and using difference-in-differences strengthens the result.
Keywords: child support enforcement, domestic violence, bargaining power
JEL Classification: D1, I1, I3, J1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation