Warrantless arrest laws for domestic violence: How are youth affected?

Public seminar

Friday, 11 August at 2pm
Level 7, WF Building
56 Wakefield Street
AUT City Campus

The study examines the impact of important US-based state-level intervention designed to address domestic violence on multiple policy-relevant youth outcomes. In particular, we utilize variation in timing of implementation of warrantless arrest laws for domestic violence across states in a differences-in-differences framework to estimate the causal impacts of state intervention in domestic violence. First, we use domestic violence-related measures of homicide rates from Uniform Crime Reports data to analyze the impact of the warrantless arrest laws on domestic violence-related homicide rates. Regression results indicate that the arrest laws do not have significant deterrent impact on domestic violence-related homicides. Next, we use the Youth Risk Behavior Survey data to study the effect of the arrest laws on measures of youth violence, suicidal tendency, and substance use behavior. We find that implementation of the arrest laws leads to statistically significant reduction in the probability of having suicidal thoughts among youth. Our results suggest that although warrantless arrest laws may not have any impact on incidence of domestic violence, the perceived deterrent impact of the laws may lead to better outcomes across a larger proportion of youth who are at the risk of domestic violence victimization. The analysis also accounts for important heterogeneities in warrantless arrest laws across states. Our findings are robust to multiple sensitivity checks to address key threats to identification.

Authors: Kabir Dasgupta and Gail Pacheco
Presenter: Dr Kabir Dasgupta

Hosted by the New Zealand Work Research Institute and the Economics Department.