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Child support liability and partnership dissolution

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  • Ian Walker

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Lancaster University)

  • Yu Zhu

Abstract

This paper studies the determinants of partnership dissolution and focuses on the role of child support. We exploit the variation in child support liabilities driven by an important UK policy reform to separately identify the effects of children from the effect of child support liability. We find strong evidence that an increase in the child support liability significantly reduces dissolution risk. Our results suggest that child support criteria that are based on the non-custodial parent's income, compared to criteria based on aggregate incomes of both parents, would imply much smaller separation rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W04/18.

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Length: 34 pp.
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:04/18

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References

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  1. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher J, 1995. "Rationalizing Child-Support Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1241-62, December.
  2. Weiss, Yoram, 1993. "The formation and dissolution of families: Why marry? Who marries whom? And what happens upon divorce," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 81-123 Elsevier.
  3. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1993. "The Importance of Financial Considerations in Divorce Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 71-86, January.
  4. John M. Fitzgerald & David Ribar, 2001. "The Impact of Welfare Waivers on Female Headship Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 247, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
  6. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
  7. McClements, L. D., 1977. "Equivalence scales for children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 191-210, October.
  8. Daniel Meyer, 1993. "Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, February.
  9. Nada Eissa & Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 2000. "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Public Economics 9912001, EconWPA.
  10. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S293-329, January.
  11. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-92, July.
  12. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
  13. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1995. "Easy Estimation Methods for Discrete-Time Duration Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 129-38, February.
  14. Wei-Yin Hu, 1999. "Child Support, Welfare Dependency, and Women's Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 71-103.
  15. Paul Bingley & Gauthier Lanot & Elizabeth Symons & Ian Walker, 1995. "Child Support Reform and the Labor Supply of Lone Mothers in the United Kingdom," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 256-279.
  16. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Irwin Garfinkel & Philip K. Robins & Pat Wong & Daniel R. Meyer, 1990. "The Wisconsin Child Support Assurance System: Estimated Effects on Poverty, Labor Supply, Caseloads, and Costs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-31.
  18. Paul Bingley & Elizabeth Symons & Ian Walker, 1994. "Child Support, Income Support and lone mothers," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 81-98, February.
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