Does Unemployment Lead to Domestic Violence?

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A new study, from researchers at the University of London, finds increases in male unemployment correspond with decreases in domestic violence, and increases in female unemployment correspond with increases in domestic violence.

Using data from the on the incidence of domestic abuse from the Crime Survey (BCS), a nationally representative repeated cross-sectional survey of people aged 16 and over, living in England and Wales, researchers asked the respondents about their attitudes towards and ex-periences of crime. In contrast to conventional wisdom that
male unemployment in particular is a key determinant of dome stic violence researchers found that abusive males who are in fear of losing their jobs or who have lost their jobs may rationally abstain from abusive behaviors, as they have an economic incentive to avoid divorce and the as-sociated loss of spousal insurance. However, when women are at a high risk of unemployment,their economic dependency on their spouses may prevent them from leaving their partners.

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