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Child-custody reform, marital investment in children, and the labor supply of married mothers

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  • Nunley, John M.
  • Seals Jr., Richard Alan

Abstract

Research on child custody primarily focuses on the well-being of children following divorce. We extend this literature by examining how the prospect of joint child custody affects within-marriage investment in children through changes in household bargaining power. Variation in the timing of joint-custody reforms across states provides a natural-experiment framework with which to examine within-marriage investment in children. The probability of children's private school attendance declines by 12% in states that adopt joint-custody laws. We also find evidence linking joint-custody reform to higher rates of labor force participation for married mothers, which may indicate less time devoted household production.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 14-24

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:14-24

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

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Keywords: Child custody Child investment Intrahousehold resource allocation Private school Labor supply Household bargaining;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Wasi, Nada & den Berg, Bernard van & Buchmueller, Thomas C., 2012. "Heterogeneous effects of child disability on maternal labor supply: Evidence from the 2000 US Census," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 139-154.
  2. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.
  3. de Blasio, Guido & Vuri, Daniela, 2013. "Joint Custody in the Italian Courts," IZA Discussion Papers 7472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Marco Francesconi & René Böheim & Martin Halla, 2012. "Does custody law affect family behaviour in and out of marriage?," Economics Discussion Papers 724, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  5. John M. Nunley & Richard Alan Seals Jr., 2011. "Child-Custody Reform and the Division of Labor in the Household," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2011-14, Department of Economics, Auburn University.

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