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Public transfers and marital dissolution

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  • Sigve Tjøtta
  • Kjell Vaage

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Abstract

In this paper we analyse determinants of marital dissolution. The focus is on the alleged influence from public transfers, including governmental transfers directed towards divorced families, child allowance, and child support awards. We use a Norwegian panel of 2.800 couples who were married in 1989, together with a broad range of socio-economic variables, including (expected) public and private transfers in case of divorce. The sample is observed over a six-year period, with the purpose of registering marital dissolution. Our findings are consistent with matching models where divorce is explained according to assortative mating hypothesis. We find that the level of transfers has a significantly positive effect on the divorce probability, and that the distribution of transfers in favour of the wife increases the same probability. The fact that internal re-distribution between spouses affects the divorce propensity is consistent with non-unitary family models, but at odds with the predictions from unitary and/or common wealth models.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 419-437

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:21:y:2008:i:2:p:419-437

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Related research

Keywords: Divorce; Marital dissolution; Public transfers; J12; J18;

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  1. Rainer, Helmut, 2008. "Gender discrimination and efficiency in marriage: The bargaining family under scrutiny," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 19817, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  4. Bratberg, Espen & Tjøtta, Sigve, 2002. "Income Effects of Divorce in Families with Dependent Children," Working Papers in Economics 20/02, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  5. Lommerund, K.E., 1997. "Battle of the Sexes: Non-Cooperative Games in the Theory of the Family," Norway; Department of Economics, University of Bergen, Department of Economics, University of Bergen 174, Department of Economics, University of Bergen.
  6. Rees, Ray, 1988. "Taxation and the Household," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 3411, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Breaks in the breaks: An analysis of divorce rates in Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 242-255.
  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. Furtado, Delia & Marcén, Miriam & Sevilla, Almudena, 2011. "Does Culture Affect Divorce Decisions? Evidence from European Immigrants in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5960, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.
  5. Espen Bratberg & Sigve Tjøtta, 2008. "Income effects of divorce in families with dependent children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 439-461, April.
  6. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2010. "Unilateral Divorce vs. Child Custody and Child Support in the U.S," MPRA Paper 24695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Bratberg, Espen & Rieck, Karsten Marshall Elseth & Vaage, Kjell, 2011. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and Divorce," Working Papers in Economics 09/11, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.

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