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The long run consequences of unilateral divorce laws on children—evidence from SHARELIFE

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  • Steffen Reinhold

    ()

  • Thorsten Kneip
  • Gerrit Bauer

Abstract

Previous research has shown adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on long-term outcomes of children. It remains an open question of whether these effects of early childhood conditions arise due to divorce laws raising the likelihood of parental marital disruption or whether unilateral divorce laws also affect children in intact marriages by changing intra-household bargaining. Using recently available data from SHARELIFE for 11 Western European countries, we address this question employing a difference-in-differences approach and controlling for childhood family structure and socioeconomic status. Like previous research, we find adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on the well-being of children. This effect remains even when controlling for childhood variables. We conclude that unilateral divorce laws affect children by changing family bargaining in intact marriages. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 26 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 1035-1056

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:1035-1056

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Related research

Keywords: Unilateral divorce; Childhood conditions; Difference-in-differences; Intra-household bargaining; Children’s human capital formation; D13; J12; J13;

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References

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  1. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288, 02.
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  3. Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," MEA discussion paper series 11248, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
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  6. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
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  9. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Changes in compulsory schooling and the causal effect of education on health: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 340-354, March.
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  11. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
  12. Martin Browning & P.A. Chiappori, 1996. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations - A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Discussion Papers 96-10, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
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  15. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "How Unilateral Divorce Affects Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. 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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Cited by:
  1. Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," MEA discussion paper series 11248, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  2. Elizabeth Horner, 2014. "Continued Pursuit of Happily Ever After: Low Barriers to Divorce and Happiness," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 228-240, June.
  3. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Brandt, Martina & Schröder, Mathis, 2013. "SHARELIFE - One Century of Life Histories in Europe," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-4.

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