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The Law and Economics of Marriage Contracts

  • Ian Smith

    (University of St Andrews)

Growth in property ownership has raised the stakes in the distribution of financial assets on divorce. Given high risks of marital failure, this has stimulated the demand for private ordering through enforceable marriage contracts. This paper surveys the existing law and economics literature and legal practice to consider the state of knowledge on the economic theory, scope and limits of written nuptial agreements. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2003.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 17 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 201-226

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:17:y:2003:i:2:p:201-226
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  7. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2001. "The Hold-Up Problem and Incomplete Contracts: A Survey of Recent Topics in Contract Theory," MPRA Paper 12562, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  9. Brinig, Margaret F & Crafton, Steven M, 1994. "Marriage and Opportunism," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 869-94, June.
  10. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1993. "The Importance of Financial Considerations in Divorce Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 71-86, January.
  11. Simon Clark, 1999. "Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution," ESE Discussion Papers 32, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
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  13. Aghion, Philippe & Dewatripont, Mathias & Rey, Patrick, 1994. "Renegotiation Design with Unverifiable Information," Scholarly Articles 12375014, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  16. Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 1989. "Marital Division of Labor with Risk of Divorce: The Role of "Voice" Enforcement of Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 113-27, January.
  17. Habibi, Nader, 1997. "An Economic Analysis of the Prenuptial Agreement (Mahrieh) in Contemporary Iran," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 281-93, January.
  18. Shavell, Steven, 1993. "The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 255-87, April.
  19. Yoram Weiss & Robert J. Willis, . "Transfers Among Divorced Couples: Evidence and Interpretation," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 90-4a, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  20. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana & Lemennicier, Bertrand, 2000. "Marriage contracts and the law-and-economics of marriage: an Austrian perspective," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 665-690, June.
  21. Gray, Jeffrey S, 1998. "Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 628-42, June.
  22. Burkhauser, Richard V, et al, 1990. "Economic Burdens of Marital Disruptions: A Comparison of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(4), pages 319-33, December.
  23. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
  24. Allen, Douglas W., 1990. "An inquiry into the state's role in marriage," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 171-191, March.
  25. Borenstein, Severin & Cournat, Paul N, 1989. "How to Carve a Medical Degree: Human Capital Assets in Divorce Settlements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 992-1009, December.
  26. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 1996. "Economics in a Family Way," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(4), pages 1903-1934, December.
  27. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-54, June.
  28. Aloysius Siow, 1996. "Differential Fecundity, Markets and Gender Roles," Working Papers siow-96-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  29. Allen, Douglas W, 1992. ""What Does She See in Him?" The Effect of Sharing on the Choice of Spouse," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 57-67, January.
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  36. repec:att:wimass:9714 is not listed on IDEAS
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