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The Economics of Child Custody

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  • IMRAN RASUL

Abstract

I develop a model of marriage in which spouses decide on investments in child quality during marriage, and on the allocation of child custody should they divorce. The custodial allocation determines the share of the marital surplus each spouse appropriates, which in turn influences spouses' investment incentives. The custodial allocation therefore has both "distributional" and "efficiency" consequences. I derive the equilibrium investments and optimal custodial allocation, and identify three channels through which making divorce easier affects child welfare: investments in child quality during marriage, the likelihood of divorce, and the allocation of custody if divorce occurs. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Imran Rasul, 2006. "The Economics of Child Custody," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 1-25, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:73:y:2006:i:289:p:1-25
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    1. Francesconi, Marco & Muthoo, Abhinay, 2003. "An Economic Model of Child Custody," CEPR Discussion Papers 4054, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Plamen Nikolov & Karen Gardiner & Mike Fishman, 2003. "State Policies to promote marriage," HEW 0306003, EconWPA.
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