The dynamics of domestic violence: learning about the match

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a dynamic lifecycle model of women’s choices with respect to partnership status, labour supply and fertility when they cannot directly observe whether a given male partner is of a violent type or not. The model is estimated by the method of simulated moments using longitudinal data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The results indicate that uncertainty about a partner’s abusive type creates incentives for women to delay fertility, reduce fertility overall, divorce more often and increase labour supply. We also study the impact of higher female wages, income support to single mothers, and subsidised childcare when the mother is working. While higher wages reduce women’s overall exposure to abuse, both income support and subsidised childcare largely fail to do so by encouraging early fertility. The latter two policies instead increase the incidence of abuse towards mothers and hence the abuse exposure for children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2863-2898
Number of pages36
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number656
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2023


  • domestic violence
  • learning
  • Fertility

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