Skip to main content

woman family violence GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images

The Global Cost of Domestic Violence

It is understandable that the world would dedicate considerable attention and resources to ending war, terrorism, and refugee crises. But it turns out that tackling the scourge of domestic violence could yield much higher returns, both in terms of reduced suffering and lost productivity.

PRAGUE – Domestic violence costs the world 25 times more than war and terrorism, according to research conducted by James Fearon of Stanford University and Anke Hoeffler of Oxford University on behalf of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

By looking at different kinds of violence, Fearon and Hoeffler find that the global costs of conflict – including the economic toll of deaths from wars and terrorism, refugee-related outlays, and general pecuniary damage – add up to around 0.2% of global GDP each year.

That figure is dwarfed by domestic violence. The cost of domestic violence adds up to an astonishing 5.2% of global GDP each year. Nevertheless, the amount of research and funding directed at solving the problem of domestic violence is tiny compared to what is spent in pursuit of international peace.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/IHAL7Cg;
  1. solana109_robert wallisCorbis via Getty Images_manhittingberlinwall Robert Wallis/Corbis via Getty Images

    The Partial Triumph of 1989

    Javier Solana

    The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 marked the end not of a historical chapter, but of a paragraph. Although capitalism currently has no rival, it has proven its compatibility with illiberal forces.

    0
  2. sachs315_Pablo Rojas MadariagaNurPhoto via Getty Images_chileprotestmanbulletface Pablo Rojas Madariaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images

    Why Rich Cities Rebel

    Jeffrey D. Sachs

    Having lost touch with public sentiment, officials in Paris, Hong Kong, and Santiago failed to anticipate that a seemingly modest policy action (a fuel-tax increase, an extradition bill, and higher metro prices, respectively) would trigger a massive social explosion.

    3

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions