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The effect of intimate partner violence on labor market decisions: Evidence from a multi-ethnic country

Fernando Rios-Avila (Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, New York, USA)
Gustavo Javier Canavire-Bacarreza (School of Economics and Finance, University EAFIT, Medellin, Colombia)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 9 January 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the heterogeneous labor market responses of indigenous and non-indigenous women to intimate partner violence (IPV) using information from the 2003 Demographic and Health Survey for Bolivia.


This analysis employs an instrumental variable with a Heckman correction approach to account for possible endogeneity problems between IPV and job exit decisions, and the self-selection of women into the labor force. It also analyses the sample across different population characteristics to search for heterogeneity and potential explanations to the observed effects.


The results show that the effect of IPV on women’s job exits is stronger among non-indigenous women compared to their indigenous counterparts. These differences could be tied to the cultural differences between these two segments of the population. These results are robust using different methodologies and specifications.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first one to compare the relationship between domestic violence and labor market outcomes in a multi-ethnic developing country, such as Bolivia.



The authors thank Barry Hirsch, Rachana Bhatt, Jonathan Hubschman, Tamar Khitarishvili, and Kijong Kim for their helpful comments. The authors also thank the excellent research assistance from Camila Uribe Villa.


Rios-Avila, F. and Javier Canavire-Bacarreza, G. (2017), "The effect of intimate partner violence on labor market decisions: Evidence from a multi-ethnic country", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 75-92.



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