Conditional Cash Transfers for Women and Spousal Violence: Evidence of the Long-Term Relationship from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico

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Bobonis, Gustavo J.;
Castro, Roberto;
Morales, Juan S.
Oct 2015
This paper provides evidence of the long-term relationship between male-to-female spousal violence and the Oportunidades conditional cash transfer program. It uses data from three nationally representative surveys that include detailed information on the prevalence of spousal abuse and threats of violence against women. Constructing comparable groups of beneficiary and nonbeneficiary households within each village to minimize potential selection biases, the present study finds that, in contrast to the short-run estimates, physical and emotional abuse rates over the long term do not differ significantly between existing beneficiary and nonbeneficiary couples. The paper examines possible causes for the difference, most importantly, the role that marital selection and the diffusion of norms rejecting intimate partner violence may play in explaining these effects.