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The Risk of Divorce and Household Saving Behavior

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  • Libertad González
  • Berkay Özcan

Abstract

We analyze the causal impact of an increase in the risk of marital dissolution on the saving behavior of married couples. We use the legalization of divorce in Ireland in 1996 as an exogenous shock to the risk of divorce. We propose several comparison groups (unaffected by the law change) that allow us to use a difference-in-differences approach. Our findings suggest that the legalization of divorce led to a significant increase in the propensity to save by married individuals, which is consistent with individuals saving more as a response to the increase in the probability of marital breakup.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 48 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 404-434

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:48:y:2013:ii:1:p:404-434

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  1. Libertad González Luna & Tarja K. Viitanen, 2006. "The effect of divorce laws on divorce rates in Europe," Economics Working Papers 986, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Joseph Lupton & James P. Smith, 1999. "Marriage, Assets, and Savings," Working Papers 99-12, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  3. Saku Aura, 2002. "Uncommitted Couples: Some Efficiency and Policy Implications of Marital Bargaining," Working Papers 0217, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  4. Betsey Stevenson, 2006. "The impact of divorce laws on marriage-specific capital," Working Paper Series 2006-43, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1995. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Department of Economics Working Papers 1995-02, McMaster University.
  6. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1998. "The Determinants of Specialization Within Marriage," Working Papers 0048, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  7. Lommerud, K.E., 1988. "Marital Division Of Labor With Risk Of Divorce: The Role Of Enforcement Of Contracts," Papers 09-88, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  8. Papps, Kerry L., 2006. "The Effects of Divorce Risk on the Labour Supply of Married Couples," IZA Discussion Papers 2395, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  10. Betsey Stevenson, 2008. "Divorce Law and Women's Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 14346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Luis Cubeddu & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 1997. "Marital risk and capital accumulation," Staff Report 235, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Corrigenda [Introduction to the Economics of Religion]," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1941-1941, December.
  13. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1998. "Introduction to the Economics of Religion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 1465-1495, September.
  14. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-69, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Filippo Pericoli & Luigi Ventura, 2012. "Family dissolution and precautionary savings: an empirical analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 573-595, December.
  2. Bargain, Olivier & González, Libertad & Keane, Claire & Özcan, Berkay, 2010. "Female Labour Supply and Divorce: New Evidence from Ireland," Papers WP346, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Libertad González Luna & Tarja Viitanen, 2008. "The long term effects of legalizing divorce on children," Economics Working Papers 1122, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  4. Hans Fehr & Manuel Kallweit & Fabian Kindermann, 2009. "Marital Risk, Family Insurance, and Public Policy," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 226, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Salvador Ortigueira & Nawid Siassi, 2010. "How important is Intra-household Risk Sharing for Savings and Labor Supply?," Economics Working Papers ECO2010/36, European University Institute.
  6. Cremer, Helmuth & Pestieau, Pierre & Roeder, Kerstin, 2012. "United but (un)equal: human capital, probability of divorce and the marriage contract," IDEI Working Papers 755, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  7. Alessandra Voena, 2011. "Yours, Mine and Ours: Do Divorce Laws Affect the Intertemporal Behavior of Married Couples?," Discussion Papers 10-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Alessandra Voena, 2010. "Yours, Mine and Ours: Do Divorce Laws affect the Intertemporal Behavior of Married Couples??," 2010 Meeting Papers 1329, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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