Socioeconomics Research Seminar
Title: Marital Age, Education and Domestic Violence
Violence against women is a human rights violation and domestic violence represents its most important component. Whilst some literature report female empowerment as a protective factor against domestic violence, other papers find the opposite effect. Using the sample of eligible women aged 15-49 with valid response on domestic violence in the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) (n=10,150), the general purpose of the present paper is to investigate the effects of empowerment on DV. Our focus is on empowerment in the form of marital age and education. The main contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we establish a causal relationship between empowerment and domestic violence taking into account the endogeneity of marital age and education. We use a well-known instrument and run a series of Instrumental Variable (IV) regressions for the purpose. Second, we investigate two main channels through which marital age and education can exert their effect on DV: labor market participation and spousal quality. We show that: i) empowered women do experience less DV; ii) marital age and education are partially complementary; iii) labour market participation and spousal quality are relevant mediators of these relations; iv) policies aiming at reducing DV in India should be holistic, focussing on both women and men and improving the conditions of the women’ labour market.
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