October 2010

IZA DP No. 5273: Domestic Violence and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Mixed-Race Developing Country

Published in: International Journal of Social Economics, 2016 vol 4 issue 1

This study investigates the heterogeneous effects of domestic violence over labor markets in an ethnically fragmented country such as Bolivia. Among developing countries, Bolivia “excels” in having one of the highest levels of domestic violence in the region. Anecdotal evidence and empirical evidence suggest that response to domestic violence is not homogeneous across different ethnic groups. Using information from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for Bolivia, we examine the heterogeneous impacts of domestic violence over one of the key labor market outcomes such as employment. We employ a probabilistic decision model and treatment regression techniques to examine this effect. We claim that the impact of domestic violence on labor markets is limited among indigenous people, given that violence is, to some extent, socially recognized and accepted. We find that for most of the cases, indigenous women are less responsive to domestic violence than non-indigenous ones, except for groups with a high income level. Our results are robust for alternative methodologies to address possible endogeneity problems.