Covid-19, Family Stress and Domestic Violence: Remote Work, Isolation and Bargaining Power

37 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020 Last revised: 13 May 2021

See all articles by Louis-Philippe Béland

Louis-Philippe Béland

Carleton University

Abel Brodeur

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Joanne Haddad

University of Ottawa

Derek Mikola

Carleton University

Abstract

We investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on domestic violence and family stress. Our empirical analysis relies on a unique online survey, Canadian Perspective Survey Series, that allow us to disentangle the mechanisms through which COVID-19 may affect family stress and domestic violence. We find no evidence that employment status and work arrangements are related to higher self-reported levels of family stress and violence in the home due to confinement, suggesting that remote working on a large scale does not lead to family violence.In contrast, we find that the inability to meet financial obligations and maintaining social ties significantly increase reported family stress and domestic violence. These findings are consistent with two alternative mechanisms: social isolation and decreased bargaining power for women. Last, we provide suggestive evidence that receiving financial relief does not mitigate the effect of financial worries on domestic violence and family stress. We conclude that targeted programs supporting victims of domestic violence may be more effective.

Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, domestic violence, family stress, isolation and remote work

JEL Classification: D03, I18, J12

Suggested Citation

Béland, Louis-Philippe and Brodeur, Abel and Haddad, Joanne and Mikola, Derek, Covid-19, Family Stress and Domestic Violence: Remote Work, Isolation and Bargaining Power. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13332, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3627031

Louis-Philippe Béland (Contact Author)

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, K1S 5B6
Canada

Abel Brodeur

University of Ottawa - Department of Economics ( email )

200 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/abelbrodeur/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Joanne Haddad

University of Ottawa

2292 Edwin Crescent
Ottawa, K2C 1H7
Canada

Derek Mikola

Carleton University

1125 colonel By Drive
Ottawa, K1S 5B6
Canada

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