Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/227368
Authors: 
Miller, Amalia
Segal, Carmit
Spencer, Melissa K.
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers No. 13841
Abstract: 
Around the world, policymakers and news reports have warned that domestic violence (DV) could increase as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the attendant restrictions on individual mobility and commercial activity. However, both anecdotal accounts and academic research have found inconsistent effects of the pandemic on DV across measures and cities. We use high-frequency, real-time data from Los Angeles on 911 calls, crime incidents, arrests, and calls to a DV hotline to study the effects of COVID-19 shutdowns on DV. We find conflicting effects within that single city and even across measures from the same source. We also find varying effects between the initial shutdown period and the one following the initial re-opening. DV calls to police and to the hotline increased during the initial shutdown, but DV crimes decreased, as did arrests for those crimes. The period following re-opening showed a continued decrease in DV crimes and arrests, as well as decreases in calls to the police and to the hotline. Our results highlight the heterogeneous effects of the pandemic across DV measures and caution against relying on a single data type or source.
Subjects: 
domestic violence
COVID-19
pandemic
crime reporting
police data
JEL: 
I18
J12
J16
K14
K42
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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