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The Effect of Child-Support Policies on Visitations and Transfers

Listed author(s):
  • 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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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 91 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 130-134

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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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