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The Long Run Consequences of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Children –Evidence from SHARELIFE

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  • Reinhold, Steffen

    ()

  • Kneip, Thorsten

    ()

  • Bauer, Gerrit

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

Previous research has shown adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on long-term outcomes of children. It remains an open question of whether long-term effects of early childhood conditions arise because divorce laws raise the likelihood of parental marital disruption, or whether unilateral divorce laws also affect children in intact marriages by changing intra-household bargaining. Using newly available data from SHARELIFE for eleven Western European countries we address this question employing a differences-in-differences approach and controlling for childhood family structure and socioeconomic status. Like previous research, we find strong adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on the well-being of children, and this effect remains even when controlling for childhood variables. We conclude that unilateral divorce laws affect children by changing family bargaining in intact marriages.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 11240.

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Date of creation: 18 Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:11240

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  1. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 91-08, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  2. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2010. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling and the Causal Effect of Education on Health: Evidence from Germany," MEA discussion paper series 10200, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  3. Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen & Salm, Martin, 2011. "Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from the educational expansion in Western Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 862-872, October.
  4. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher, 2009. "Endogeneous Household Interaction," IZA Discussion Papers 4377, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Julio C�ceres-Delpiano & Eugenio Giolito, 2012. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 215 - 248.
  6. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," NBER Working Papers 10175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Parkman, Allen M, 1992. "Unilateral Divorce and the Labor-Force Participation Rate of Married Women, Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 671-78, June.
  8. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  9. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  10. Gonzalez, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja, 2008. "The Long Term Effects of Legalizing Divorce on Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," MEA discussion paper series 11248, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  12. Christina Paxson & Jane Waldfogel, 1999. "Work, Welfare, and Child Maltreatment," Working Papers 278, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  13. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
  14. Betsey Stevenson, 2008. "Divorce Law and Women's Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 14346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Andrew Cherlin & Kathleen Kiernan & P. Chase-Lansdale, 1995. "Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 299-318, August.
  16. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
  17. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "How Unilateral Divorce Affects Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," MEA discussion paper series 11248, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  2. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Brandt, Martina & Schröder, Mathis, 2013. "SHARELIFE - One Century of Life Histories in Europe," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-4.
  3. Elizabeth Horner, 2014. "Continued Pursuit of Happily Ever After: Low Barriers to Divorce and Happiness," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 228-240, June.

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