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The Intergenerational Effect of Violence on Health and Family outcomes [draft available upon request] Winner of the Best Paper Award, University of Barcelona PhD Workshop 2021

This paper investigates the intergenerational impact of violence on health and family outcomes, using as study context slavery in the French West Indies. To study slaves’ exposure to violence, I exploit exogenous variations in the price of sugarcane in the early nineteenth century resulting from the introduction of beet sugar production in Northern France. I use 15 years of archival records of slaves’ deaths at the county level before the abolition of slavery (1848) to study an extreme measure of exposure to violence – mortality. I provide suggestive evidence that the decrease in sugarcane price pushed slave owners to drive their slaves to exhaustion to maintain revenues - particularly so in sugarcane-intensive municipalities. I next rely on these findings to investigate whether differences in exposure to violence before the abolition transmitted across generations to explain differences in health outcomes (child mortality, life expectancy) and family dynamics (fertility, marriage, family composition). To do so, I digitize primary sources of deaths and births records from 1848 to 1905 and identify generations of the same family using surnames. An important contribution of my research lies in the use of individual-level data on families across time and space, which allows disentangling the specific role of families from that of local characteristics in the intergenerational impact of violence that I document.

Work in Progress

  • The legacy of violent institutions
    • Slavery and the roots of inequality: the role of assortative matting
  • How traumatic events affect family dynamics
    • Covid-19, Help-seeking behavior and Protection of Intimate Partner Violence Victims, IEB WB 2020/13 (joint with Judit Vall Castello). Download latest version
    • Behind Closed Doors: COVID-19 and detection of male-based violence,(joint with Judit Vall Castello, Neus Carrilero, Anna Garcia Altes)

Other publications

  • Media
  • Policy papers
    • "La Nueva Economia de la Soledad: Soledad y Salud de las personas mayores." (joint with Guillem Lopez Casasnovas); CRES-UPF Health Policy Papers 2020-03 (available here)