Domestic Violence and Intra-household bargaining

Start date: 1 January, 2018 End date: 27 February, 2018 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A31772 Countries: Tanzania Grant recipient: Anna Linnea Järneteg and Ellen Amanda Ahlberg Total grant: 29,240 DKK



Violence against women is a serious problem in many developing countries, and
Tanzania has a higher than average of prevalence of violence against women
compared to other Sub-Saharan countries. There are both equity and efficiency
reasons for policy makers to take violence against women seriously. In order to
mitigate violence against women it is crucial to have an understanding of the
underlying mechanisms that affect it. The purpose of the paper is to assess how
increased social and economic autonomy influence attitudes and the prevalence of
domestic violence, and how norms and behaviors are transmitted between
generations. We combine the framework of Aizer (2010) and Eswaran and Malhotra
(2008) to estimate the impact of autonomy on attitudes and prevalence of domestic
violence. Our concept of autonomy includes a woman’s threat point, intra-relationship
bargaining power and self-perception, which distinguish it from previous work on
bargaining theory and domestic violence. In our model of cultural transmission we
extend the framework of Mavrokonstantis (2015) to also include oblique
transmission. We use data from six villages around Bagamoyo and Lake Victoria, and
six secondary schools in the Dar Es Salaam area in Tanzania, which was collected
during a field study in 2018. We use OLS to estimate the effect of increased
autonomy on domestic violence, and find that an increase in autonomy decreases the
prevalence and justification of domestic violence. We use OLS to examine the
relative importance of three cultural transmission mechanisms: vertical, horizontal,
and oblique. We find evidence for all three transmission mechanisms in the school
sample. In the vertical transmission model we find that fathers have a positive effect
on the probability of holding negative attitudes, and the opposite for mothers. In the
horizontal transmission model we find a large positive effect, implying that when
friends or classmates in a student’s surroundings hold negative attitudes this increases
the probability of having such attitudes. In the oblique transmission model we find
that having witnessed a male relative other than the father physically hurt his wife
increases the probability of holding negative attitudes. In the adult sample we only
find evidence of vertical transmission, measured by whether the respondent’s father
has physically hurt the respondent’s mother. Here we find a large positive effect on
the prevalence as well as justification of domestic violence for women, with a larger
effect for the justification of violence. For men we find a significant positive effect on
the justification of violence. The magnitude of the coefficient is about 40 percent
smaller for men compared to women.

Our results are robust to a number of different specifications, including a Probit
estimation. The results suggest that by empowering women, policymakers can reduce
violence directly through the autonomy of the woman, and indirectly through her
impact on the attitudes of her children.