Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Jesse Anttila-Hughes


The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced violence against women. Our study examines the effects of climate conditions on women’s attitudes towards wife beating. The demographic health surveys (DHS) dataset includes over 550,000 women in 38 countries, asked a series of wife beating justification questions in the domestic violence module. Using a linear probability model, we find prior year growing degree days (GDD), prior and current year rainfall variability have statistically significant effects. Most interestingly, we find that a one standard deviation (SD) rise in prior year annual rainfall decreases the likelihood of justifying wife beating this year by 2.81 percentage points. We posit changes in aggregate economic activity on the country level from climate variability influences women’s attitudes towards IPV.