We investigate the impact of female employment on intimate partner violence by exploiting the differential arrivals of Syrian refugees across Turkish provinces as an exogenous labor market shock. By employing a distance-based instrument, we find that refugee inflows caused a decline in female employment with no significant impact on male employment. This decline led to a reduction in intimate partner violence, without changes in partner characteristics, gender attitudes, co-residence patterns, or division of labor. Our results are consistent with instrumental theories of violence: a decline in female earning opportunities reduces the incentives of men to use violence for rent extraction.
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