Poster Paper: Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence, and Female Employment

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Exhibit Hall C - Exhibit Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Adan Silverio Murillo, American University

Restraining Orders, Domestic Violence, and Female Employment

This paper examines the effect of intimate partner violence (IPV) on women’s employment. There is mixed evidence regarding this issue. For example, Meisel, Chandler, and Rienzi (2003) find a negative effect of domestic violence on female labor supply. Yet, Agüero (2013) find that victims of domestic violence are more likely to work.

To understand the effect of domestic violence on female labor supply, I use a national representative survey from Mexico, the National Survey on Relationships within the Household (ENDIREH, 2011). To establish causality, I use an instrumental variable approach. In particular, I exploit the fact that Mexico approved the General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free from Violence in 2007 at the national level; yet, its implementation was different at the state level. In particular, one of the essential elements of the law are the restraining orders. These orders do not necessarily stop an abuser, but they permit the victim to call the police and have the abuser arrested if the order is violated. According to Corte and Hernandez (2010), among the 32 states in Mexico, only twenty states implemented such restraining orders.

I find that the implementation of the restraining orders decrease the level of violence against women in 4 percentage points. And, using the restraining orders as an instrumental variable for domestic violence, I find that the incidence of intimate partner violence increases female labor supply by 24 percentage points.