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“Economic Theory’s Stance On No-Fault Divorce”

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  • Stéphane Mechoulan

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Abstract

This article explores key insights that economic theory can shed on the issue of no-fault divorce in the United States, addressing modifications in the incentive structure of individuals that resulted from the legislative reforms of the 1970s. After stressing the importance of correctly interpreting and classifying divorce laws, this work investigates the contributions of the theory of property rights, the contributions of game theory and intra-household bargaining, and the contributions of general equilibrium analysis in our understanding of how divorce laws work and what their impact is. By doing so, this exposé analyzes the theoretical consequences of no-fault divorce on the decision whether to get married or divorced, on the characteristics of spouses and divorcees, on divorce rates, and on marital-specific and non marital-specific investments. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11150-005-3461-3
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Economics of the Household.

Volume (Year): 3 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 337-359

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Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:337-359

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=109451

Related research

Keywords: divorce; no-fault; marriage; marital investments; incentives; B4; D1; K3;

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References

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  1. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  2. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, 02.
  3. Betsey Stevenson, 2006. "The impact of divorce laws on marriage-specific capital," Working Paper Series 2006-43, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Plamen Nikolov & Karen Gardiner & Mike Fishman, 2003. "State Policies to promote marriage," HEW 0306003, EconWPA.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Libertad González & Tarja K. Viitanen, 2006. "The Effect of Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates in Europe," Working Papers 2006003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2006.
  2. Eric Langlais, 2010. "On unilateral divorce and the “selection of marriages” hypothesis," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2010031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Bruno Deffains & Eric Langlais, 2006. "Incentives to cooperate and the discretionary power of courts in divorce law," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 423-439, December.
  4. Hiller, Victor & Recoules, Magali, 2013. "Changes in divorce patterns: Culture and the law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 77-87.

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