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Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence in Los Angeles


Miller, Amalia R; Segal, Carmit; Spencer, Melissa K (2020). Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic violence in Los Angeles. NBER Working Paper Series 28068, National Bureau of Economic Research.

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 ofCOVID-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 onefollowing 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 showeda 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.

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 ofCOVID-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 onefollowing 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 showeda 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.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2020
Deposited On:08 Feb 2021 07:12
Last Modified:15 Feb 2021 14:16
Series Name:NBER Working Paper Series
Number of Pages:34
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3386/w28068
Related URLs:http://www.nber.org/papers/w28068 (Publisher)
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:20723

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