The reverse causality between female employment and domestic violence is debatable. Due to the adverse health consequences of domestic violence women shy away from employment. For fears about backlash from their husbands, wives may abstain from working. Battered women may also take up employment to liberate themselves from the grip of domestic violence. Using a new dataset that combines ethnographic data with the third wave of the National Family and Health Survey, I identify three instruments. Those are traditional tribal norms that are more conducive to the participation of women in activities outside of their homes, namely, female political engagement, female hunting, and female gathering of food, fodder and fuel. The instrument variable procedure generates significant protective effects for working wives with a 38 percent reduction in the probability of physical violence, while controlling for observable social norms surrounding tribal marriage, separation, descent, inheritance, subsistence, and settlement patterns.
Female employment Domestic Violence Male-backlash India