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Accounting for Worker Well-Being

ISBN: 978-0-76231-110-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-273-3

Publication date: 14 July 2004


Domestic violence is a social ill that results in significant social costs. While the employment costs of domestic violence are obvious to victims and advocates for battered women, there is little research that examines the relationship between abuse and women’s employment opportunities. In this paper, we build on existing models of domestic violence by presenting a model that allows for a simultaneous relationship between women’s income and violence. The validity of the model is tested empirically using several different data sets. The results are mixed. While the empirical evidence supports the model’s assumption that violence has a negative impact on the labor market productivity of working women, it also indicates that being a battered woman does not significantly decrease the likelihood that a woman participates in the labor market. In fact, empirical results indicate that after controlling for the simultaneity of violence and work, battered women are more likely to work than women who are not abused. While women who are victims of intimate abuse most likely find it much harder to work outside the home, these negative effects may be offset by strong incentives to increase their economic independence by holding jobs.


Farmer, A. and Tiefenthaler, J. (2004), "THE EMPLOYMENT EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE", Polachek, S.W. (Ed.) Accounting for Worker Well-Being (Research in Labor Economics, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 301-334.



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