Does Community Property Discourage Unpartnered Births?
AbstractThis paper investigates the likelihood of an unpartnered birth as a function of laws regulating the division of joint property in case of divorce. Based on a rational choice model of marriage and assuming that on average women earn less than men, we predict that women are less likely to have an unpartnered birth when rules for the division of joint property are more advantageous to spouses with lower earnings. We derive more predictions regarding the effects of age, non-intact home, and religiosity, and the interaction between these variables and legal regime regarding divorce. We test our predictions with retrospective data from the Family Fertility Surveys collected in the 1990s. Most of our predictions are confirmed by a multi-country analysis for 17 legal regimes in 12 Western countries as well as single-country analyses for four countries. The results confirm most of our predictions. Our major findings are that the likelihood of an unpartnered birth is higher in countries that offer most women less access to joint property in case of divorce, and that this effect is weaker for teenagers than for women in their twenties.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2816.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: European Journal of Political Economy, 2008, 24 (1), 25-40
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Other versions of this item:
- Ekert-Jaffe, Olivia & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2008. "Does community property discourage unpartnered births?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 25-40, March.
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
- K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-07-07 (All new papers)
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