Cross-disciplinary intersections between public health and economics in intimate partner violence research

Meghna Ranganathan, Lori Heise, Amber Peterman, Shalini Roy, Melissa Hidrobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) has progressed in the last decade in the fields of public health and economics, with under-explored potential for cross-fertilisation. We examine the theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches that each discipline uses to conceptualise and study IPV and offer a perspective on their relative advantages. Public health takes a broad theoretical perspective anchored in the socio-ecological framework, considering multiple and synergistic drivers of IPV, while economics focuses on bargaining models which highlight individual power and factors that shape this power. These perspectives shape empirical work, with public health examining multi-faceted interventions, risk and mediating factors, while economics focuses on causal modelling of specific economic and institutional factors and economic-based interventions. The disciplines also have differing views on measurement and ethics in primary research. We argue that efforts to understand and address IPV would benefit if the two disciplines collaborated more closely and combined the best traditions of both fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100822
JournalSSM - Population Health
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Cross-disciplinary research
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Public health and economics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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