Women's empowerment and domestic abuse: Experimental evidence from Vietnam

Erwin Bulte, Robert Lensink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Intimate partner violence is an important global health problem that policy makers seek to address by a variety of interventions, including efforts to promote “women's empowerment.” We use data from a randomized control trial in Vietnam and find that this strategy may backfire: women who participated in a gender and entrepreneurship training program suffer more frequent abuse than women in the control group. We conjecture that increased female income is the mechanism linking the training program to domestic violence. We also make a methodological contribution and show that the outcomes of our impact analysis depend on how we measure intimate partner violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-191
JournalEuropean Economic Review
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Domestic abuse
  • Gender training
  • Spousal violence


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