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Divorce laws and divorce rate in the US

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  • Marcassa Stefania

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Abstract

At the end of the 1960s, the US divorce law underwent major changes and the divorce rate almost doubled in all of the states. This paper shows that changes in property division, alimony transfers, and child custody assignments account for a substantial share of the increase in the divorce rate, especially for young, college educated couples with children. I solve and calibrate a model where agents make decisions on their marital status, savings, and labor supply. Under the new financial settlements, divorced men gain from a higher share of property, while women gain from an increase in alimony and child support transfers. The introduction of the unilateral decision to divorce has limited effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcassa Stefania, 2013. "Divorce laws and divorce rate in the US," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-39, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:13:y:2013:i:1:p:39:n:2
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    Cited by:

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    2. Fernández, Raquel & Wong, Joyce Cheng, 2014. "Free to Leave? A Welfare Analysis of Divorce Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 10047, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law

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