The Effect of Cash, Vouchers and Food Transfers on Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Northern Ecuador

Melissa Hidrobo, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Amber Peterman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Lori Heise, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Using a randomized experiment in Ecuador, this study provides evidence on whether cash, vouchers and food transfers targeted to women and intended to reduce poverty and food insecurity also affected intimate partner violence (IPV). Results indicate that transfers reduce controlling behaviors, moderate physical, and any physical or sexual violence by 6-7 percentage points. Impacts do not vary by transfer modality, and instead, initial bargaining power of women is important in determining the magnitude of impact. Possible mechanisms are explored, and findings suggest that reductions in IPV are due to both improvements in her bargaining power and decreases in poverty-related conflict.

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Presented in Session 52: The Causes and Consequences of Gender-Based Violence