Economics Seminar Series

Tia Palermo - Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti

Government Anti-Poverty Programming and Intimate Partner Violence in Ghana

Tia Palermo

Dr Tia Palermo

Abstract: We examine whether a government cash transfer program, paired with health insurance enrollment, and targeted to pregnant women and mothers of young children in extremely poor households in Ghana reduced intimate partner violence (IPV). Data were collected among 2,083 women in 2015 at baseline and after 24-months of cash receipt in two Northern regions. The evaluation followed a quasi-experimental design, whereby the treatment and comparison groups were drawn around the proxy means eligibility cut point and analysis methodology follows difference-in-difference approach. Findings indicate overall decreases in frequency of emotional, physical and combined 12-month IPV (0.09 – 0.11 standard deviations), however no decreases in experience of 12-month IPV. These impacts are driven by monogamous households, where reductions in the frequency of IPV are larger in magnitude, and impacts on any experience of 12-month IPV range from 5 to 8 percentage points. Analysis of pathways indicate that impacts on economic strengthening and women’s empowerment impacts are stronger in monogamous households, which may account for differences. There are no impacts on intra-household conflict, nor on measures of sexual violence or controlling behaviors. This study is among the first to examine whether a government social protection program in Africa affects IPV and investigate potential pathways.


Friday, November 9, 2018
3:30pm – 5:00pm
Fronczak 444