Happily Ever after? Domestic Violence in Periods of Scarcity


  • Documentos CEDE


  • This paper estimates the causal impact that changes in household´s income have on Domestic Violence (DV) rates in Colombia. Using the arguably exogenous variation in time and space of the payments of a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program and a three-year-long monthly municipal balanced panel data set, we find that DV rates decrease by six percent in the months when the transfers are received. However, this effect is only transitory and varies according to households’ expectations on when the transfers are received. Negative shocks that take place when families do not receive the transfer they were expecting, intensify economic scarcity, and DV rates in those months follow suit. On the contrary, positive shocks that occur when families receive an unexpected transfer only have a marginal reduction on DV. The channel that appears to be explaining our results is a budget constraint alleviation mechanism that reduces scarcity as the timing of the receipt of the transfer consistently reduces DV and increases consumption in the month of payment. Furthermore, there is no clear evidence of alternative channels that could explain the results such as changes in female empowerment, marital status, labor participation, or social networks of the beneficiary women.

fecha de publicación

  • 2020

Líneas de investigación

  • Conditional Cash Transfers
  • Domestic Violence
  • Scarcity


  • 21