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The effect of divorce laws on divorce rates in Europe

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  • González, Libertad
  • Viitanen, Tarja K.

Abstract

We analyze the effect on divorce rates of the legal reforms leading to "easier divorce" that took place in Europe during the last four decades. We construct a 54-year-long panel and exploit the different timing and nature of the reforms in divorce laws across countries. The reforms range from countries that legalized divorce to the introduction of no-fault grounds and unilateral divorce. We estimate that the introduction of no-fault, unilateral divorce increased the divorce rate by about 0.6, a sizeable effect given the average rate of 2 divorces per 1000 people in 2002.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 127-138

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:2:p:127-138

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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Keywords: Divorce rates Legislation Unilateral divorce No-fault divorce;

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References

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  4. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," NBER Working Papers 10175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. 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.
  14. Betsey Stevenson, 2007. "The Impact of Divorce Laws on Marriage-Specific Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 75-94.
  15. Allen, Douglas W, 1992. "Marriage and Divorce: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 679-85, June.
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  17. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  18. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1992. "Marriage and Divorce: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 687-93, June.
  20. Parkman, Allen M, 1992. "Unilateral Divorce and the Labor-Force Participation Rate of Married Women, Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 671-78, June.
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