Resources and Intimate Partner Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Cools, Sara and Andreas Kotsadam




World Development

Vol 95, 211-230

Sammendrag (engelsk)

Combining DHS data for 580,000 women from 30 different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, we analyze how both the incidence and the acceptance of intimate partner violence vary across time and space, in a region with record high levels of violence against women. We review the existing literature regarding the impact of resources on intimate partner violence, extracting testable and often conflicting hypotheses at the micro and macro level, and on the interaction across levels. We propose to extend existing theory to take into account attitudes at the community level. In the empirical analysis, we find no evidence that resources protect against abuse at the individual level, although resources are associated with lower acceptance. We find that resource inequality, both within the household and at the aggregate level, is associated with more abuse. Finally, we find that employed women face greater risk of abuse in communities with relatively higher acceptance of wife-beating.