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Until Death Do You Part: The Effects of Unilateral Divorce on Spousal Homicides

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Author Info

  • Thomas S. Dee

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081 and Faculty Research Fellow, National Bureau of Economic Research.)

Abstract

This study examines how the widespread adoption of unilateral divorce influenced the prevalence of lethal spousal violence in the United States. These evaluations are based on fixed-effects specifications for spousal homicide counts from an annual panel of U.S. states from 1968 to 1978. The results indicate that unrestricted unilateral divorce laws had small and statistically insignificant effects on the amount of lethal spousal violence directed against wives. However, the easy access to divorce created by such laws increased spousal homicides of husbands by approximately 21%. These increases were concentrated in states where the division of marital property favored husbands. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 163-182

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:1:p:163-182

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Halla, 2009. "The Effect of Joint Custody on Marriage and Divorce," NRN working papers 2009-09, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. 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.
  3. Aizer, Anna & Dal B, Pedro, 2009. "Love, hate and murder: Commitment devices in violent relationships," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3-4), pages 412-428, April.
  4. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2011. "Divorce laws and fertility decisions," MPRA Paper 30243, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano & Eugenio Giolito, 2011. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv269, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  6. Anna Aizer, 2007. "Wages, Violence and Health in the Household," NBER Working Papers 13494, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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