Families under Confinement: COVID-19, Domestic Violence, and Alcohol Consumption

33 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020 Last revised: 21 Jan 2021

See all articles by Adan Silverio-Murillo

Adan Silverio-Murillo

School of Government, Tecnologico de Monterrey

Jose Roberto Balmori de la Miyar

University Anahuac Mexico, Business and Economics School

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Date Written: September 7, 2020

Abstract

Does the COVID-19 pandemic increase domestic violence? The decline in household income combined with prolonged confinement with the potential assailant may increase household conflict. By contrast, economic theory predicts that domestic violence depends on the income distribution within the household. To test which effect dominates, we employ two separate data sources from Mexico City, domestic violence hotline calls and official police reports. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that domestic violence-related hotline calls increased by 30%, while official police reports of domestic violence declined by 27%. To reconcile these mixed findings, we consider several potential mechanisms including confinement of victims with their perpetrators preventing reporting, alcohol consumption, fear of infection during reporting, among others. We find suggestive evidence that confinement of women with their perpetrators reduced official domestic violence police reports. Our findings imply that violence against women did not decrease during the lockdown, but instead, women faced hurdles in reporting their abusive partners to the police.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, COVID-19, Alcohol, Latin America, Mexico

JEL Classification: J12, J16, J18

Suggested Citation

Silverio-Murillo, Adan and Balmori de la Miyar, Jose Roberto and Hoehn-Velasco, Lauren, Families under Confinement: COVID-19, Domestic Violence, and Alcohol Consumption (September 7, 2020). Andrew Young School of Policy Studies Research Paper Series, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3688384 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3688384

Adan Silverio-Murillo

School of Government, Tecnologico de Monterrey ( email )

Calle del Puente 222
Mexico City, 04210
Mexico

Jose Roberto Balmori de la Miyar

University Anahuac Mexico, Business and Economics School ( email )

Av de las Torres 131
Olivar de los Padres
Mexico City, Mexico City 01780
Mexico

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

Department of Economics
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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