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The Effect of Child Support Enforcement on Marital Dissolution

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  • Lucia A. Nixon
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the effect of government child support enforcement (CSE) on marital dissolution. By raising the financial obligation of the absent father to the single mother under divorce, CSE generally lowers the wife's cost of divorce. On the other hand, it raises the husband's cost. Hence, the net effect of CSE on divorce is a priori ambiguous in sign. Using Current Population Survey data matched to CSE program data, I find empirical evidence that stronger CSE reduces marital breakup. This effect is larger for couples in which the wife is more likely to be a welfare recipient under divorce.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

    Volume (Year): 32 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 159-181

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:32:y:1997:i:1:p:159-181

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    Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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    Cited by:
    1. Michael Malcolm, 2012. "A noncooperative marriage model with remarriage," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 133-151, March.
    2. Irwin Garfinkel & Sara McLanahan & Kristen Harknett, 1999. "Fragile Families and Welfare Reform," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 113, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    3. Evenhouse, Eirik & Reilly, Siobhan, 2010. "Multiple-Father Fertility and Welfare," MPRA Paper 26305, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S. & Tienda, Marta & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, 2001. "Fragile families and welfare reform: An introduction," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 277-301.
    5. Evenhouse, Eirik & Reilly, Siobhan, 2010. "Multiple-Father Fertility and Arrest Rates," MPRA Paper 22818, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Irwin Garfinkel & Daniel S. Gaylin & Chien-Chung Huang & Sara McLanahan, 2002. "The Roles of Child Support Enforcement and Welfare In Nonmarital Childbearing," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 266, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Robert I. Lerman & Elaine Sorenson, 2003. "Child Support: Interactions between Private and Public Transfers," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 587-628 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. 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.
    11. Irwin Garfinkel & Sara McLanahan & Marta Tienda & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2002. "Fragile Families and Welfare Reform: An Introduction," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 259, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    12. Marah Curtis & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Fertility Timing of Unmarried and Married Mothers: Evidence on Variation Across U.S. Cities from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 569-588, October.
    13. Jean Knab & Irv Garfinkel & Sara McLanahan & Emily Moiduddin & Cynthia Osborne, 2007. "The Effects of Welfare and Child Support Policies on the Timing and Incidence of Marriage Following a Nonmarital Birth," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. 898, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    14. Miriam Marcen, 2013. "Divorce and the birth control pill," ERSA conference papers ersa13p755, European Regional Science Association.
    15. C. Huang & I. Garfinkel & J. Waldfogel, . "Child Support and Welfare Caseloads," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1218-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    16. S. McLanahan & I. Garfinkel, . "The Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study: Questions, Design, and a Few Preliminary Results," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1208-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    17. Anna Aizer & Sara McLanahan, 2005. "The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Fertility, Parental Investment and Child Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 11522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Maria Cancian & Daniel Meyer, 2014. "Testing the Economic Independence Hypothesis: The Effect of an Exogenous Increase in Child Support on Subsequent Marriage and Cohabitation," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 51(3), pages 857-880, June.
    19. Chien-Chung Huang, 2001. "The Impact of Child Support Enforcement on Nonmarital and Marital Births: Does It Differ by Racial and Age Groups?," JCPR Working Papers, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research 246, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    20. Irwin Garfinkel & Sara McLanahan & Kristen Harknett, 1999. "Fragile Families And Welfare Reform," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. 985, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    21. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.

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