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The Effect of Child-Support Policies on Visitations and Transfers


  • Rocio Ribero
  • Daniela Del Boca


There have been few theoretical analyses of this relationship. Weiss and Willis (1985) provide one theoretical motivation for the positive relationship between the non custodial parent’s contact time with the child and their level of transfers. They claim that increased contact time allows better monitor in gof the custodial parent’s expenditures on the child, which induces higher levels of transfers to the custodial parent. We have developed a model (Del Boca and Ribero(1999)) in which visitations and child support are the outcomes of a negotiation process where by the father exchanges income for visitation time. Institutional agents, such as judges, state legislatures, etc, can impact the welfare of the members of the nonintact family by altering the endowments of each of the parents. In the simplified version of the model examined below, we view the mother as being given the endowment of all of the child’s time. Fathers typically begin with a substantial income endowment advantage over mothers, even if we were to view their incomes as being after mandatory transfers (orderby the courts) were made. There are generally gains from trade, with the mother exchanging the good with which she is heavily endowed, the child’s time, for income touse for consumption. Given the distribution of the endowments, ourmodel implies a positive relationship between transfers and the visitation time. Our model implies that institutional agents can have importante ects on the distribution of welfare within non intact families through the endowments. We illustrate this point by performing as imulation exercise, which involves the use of information from then ational longitudinal Survey High School Class of 1972 dataset. We evaluate the effects of forcing different types of mandatory income transfers from the non custodial parent on visitation time and the mother’s net income.
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Suggested Citation

  • Rocio Ribero & Daniela Del Boca, 2001. "The Effect of Child-Support Policies on Visitations and Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 130-134, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:91:y:2001:i:2:p:130-134
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.91.2.130

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    Cited by:

    1. Lenna Nepomnyaschy, 2005. "Child Support and Father-Child Contact: Leveraging Panel Data to Establish a Causal Path," Working Papers 941, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    2. Francesconi, Marco & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2003. "An Economic Model of Child Custody," CEPR Discussion Papers 4054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Studies in Economics 0811, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    4. Martin Halla, 2005. "Unterhalt, Obsorge und Scheidungsanwälte: Eine ökonometrische Untersuchung der einvernehmlichen Scheidung in Österreich," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 141(IV), pages 501-525, December.
    5. Paula Gobbi, 2014. "Childcare and commitment within households," 2014 Meeting Papers 633, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Anna Klabunde & Evelyn Korn, 2010. "Parasites and Raven Mothers: A German-Japanese comparison on (lone) motherhood," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201023, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    7. Reagan A. Baughman, 2017. "The impact of child support on child health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 69-91, March.
    8. Daniela Del Boca & Rocio Ribero, 2003. "Visitations and Transfers After Divorce," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 187-204, September.
    9. Jonathan Fisher & Angela Lyons, 2006. "Till Debt do us Part: A Model of Divorce and Personal Bankruptcy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 35-52, March.
    10. repec:pri:crcwel:wp06-09-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lenna Nepomnyaschy & Irwin Garfinkel, 2007. "Child Support Enforcement and Fathers' Contributions to Their Nonmarital Children," Working Papers 909, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    12. Urvi Neelakantan, 2009. "The impact of changes in child support policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 641-663, July.
    13. Francesconi, Marco & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2006. "Control Rights in Public-Private Partnerships," CEPR Discussion Papers 5733, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. repec:pri:crcwel:wp05-05-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Cécile Bourreau-Dubois & Myriam Doriat-Duban & Jean-Claude Ray, 2014. "Child support order: how do judges decide without guidelines? Evidence from France," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 431-452, December.
    16. Tracey, Marlon R. & Polachek, Solomon, 2017. "If Looks Could Heal: Child Health and Paternal Investment," IZA Discussion Papers 10866, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    17. Amy Farmer & Jill Tiefenthaler, 2003. "Strategic Bargaining Over Child Support and Visitation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 205-218, September.
    18. repec:eee:jhecon:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:179-190 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure


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