DP17254 Dynamic impacts of lockdown on domestic violence: Evidence from multiple policy shifts in Chile

Author(s): Sonia Bhalotra, Damian Clarke
Publication Date: April 2022
Keyword(s): COVID-19, Domestic violence, lockdown, Public health, social safety net
JEL(s): H53, I38, J12
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=17254

We leverage staggered implementation of lockdown across Chile's 346 municipalities, identifying dynamic impacts on domestic violence (DV). Using administrative data, we find lockdown imposition increases indicators of DV-related distress, while decreasing DV reports to the police. We identify male job loss as a mechanism driving distress, and female job loss as driving decreased reporting. Stimulus payments to poor households act on both margins, their impacts partially differentiated by lockdown status. Once lockdown is lifted, police reports surge but we see a ratchet effect in distress. Our findings accentuate the controversy around welfare impacts of lockdown mandates.