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J Health Econ. 2013 Jan;32(1):304-19. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.11.002. Epub 2012 Nov 16.

Cash transfers and domestic violence.

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International Food Policy Research Institute, 2033 K St, NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA.


Violence against women is a major health and human rights problem yet there is little rigorous evidence as to how to reduce it. We take advantage of the randomized roll-out of Ecuador's cash transfer program to mothers to investigate how an exogenous increase in a woman's income affects domestic violence. We find that the effect of a cash transfer depends on a woman's education and on her education relative to her partner's. Our results show that for women with greater than primary school education a cash transfer significantly decreases psychological violence from her partner. For women with primary school education or less, however, the effect of a cash transfer depends on her education relative to her partner's. Specifically, the cash transfer significantly increases emotional violence in households where the woman's education is equal to or more than her partner's.

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