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The Fragility of Estimated Effects of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates

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  • Lee Jin Young

    ()
    (Michigan State University)

  • Solon Gary

    ()
    (Michigan State University)

Abstract

Following an influential article by Friedberg (1998) on the response of divorce rates to the adoption of unilateral divorce laws, Wolfers (2006) explored the sensitivity of Friedberg’s results to allowing for dynamic response. We in turn explore the sensitivity of Wolfers’s results to variations in estimation method and functional form, and we find that the results are extremely fragile. We conclude first that the impact of unilateral divorce laws remains unclear. Second, we make the methodological point that identification in differences-in-differences research becomes weaker in the presence of dynamics, especially in the presence of unit-specific time trends.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 11 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 1-11

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:11:y:2011:i:1:n:49

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  1. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," IZA Discussion Papers 2602, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," NBER Working Papers 10014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Vogelsang, Timothy J., 2012. "Heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation, and spatial correlation robust inference in linear panel models with fixed-effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(2), pages 303-319.
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  1. Tools of the trade: when to use those sample weights
    by Jed Friedman in Development Impact on 2013-03-13 13:01:04
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Cited by:
  1. Domenico Tabasso, 2011. "With or Without You: Hazard of Divorce and Intra-household Allocation of Time," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2011n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  2. Vogelsang, Timothy J., 2012. "Heteroskedasticity, autocorrelation, and spatial correlation robust inference in linear panel models with fixed-effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(2), pages 303-319.

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