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Divorce Laws and Divorce Rate in the U.S

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  • Stefania Marcassa

    ()
    (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise and THEMA)

Abstract

At the end of 1960s, the U.S. divorce law underwent major changes and the divorce rate almost doubled in all of the states. This paper shows that changes in property division, alimony transfers,and child custody assignments account for a substantial share of the increase in the divorce rate,especially for young, college educated couples with children. I solve and calibrate a model where agents make decisions on their marital status, savings, and labor supply. Under the new financial settlements, divorced men gain from a higher share of property, while women gain from an increase in alimony and child support transfers. The introduction of the unilateral decision to divorce haslimited effects.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2013-06.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2013-06

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Keywords: Age-specific divorce rate; unilateral and consensual divorce; divorce laws; property division; alimony and child support; child custody;

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