Domestic Violence and Child Nutrition in Latin America: A Bargaining Power Approach

31 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2006

See all articles by María E. Dávalos

María E. Dávalos

Fordham University

Indhira Vanessa Santos

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

Domestic violence is widespread in Latin America. Of 136,500 women surveyed in sixteen Latin American countries, 20% reported physical abuse by their partners. This paper uses a bargaining power model and survey data for Colombia, Dominican Republic and Haiti to explore the relationship between domestic violence and child nutrition. Domestic violence, reflecting women's status in the household, affects children's nutritional outcomes through its effects on the demand for health inputs. We find evidence that domestic violence decreases the probability of a child being breastfed and immunized. Similarly, domestic violence reduces the likelihood that a woman receives appropriate pre-natal care, including adequate iron intake and doctor visits. We conclude that domestic violence has an adverse effect on children's long-term nutritional status, which in turn has potential implications for children's performance in school and in the workforce.

Keywords: domestic violence, bargaining, child health, Latin America, Dominican Republic, Haiti

JEL Classification: D13, I10, I12, J13, O12

Suggested Citation

Dávalos, María E. and Santos, Indhira Vanessa, Domestic Violence and Child Nutrition in Latin America: A Bargaining Power Approach (May 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=905936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.905936

María E. Dávalos

Fordham University ( email )

441 East Fordham Road
Bronx, NY 10458
United States

Indhira Vanessa Santos (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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