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The effect of divorce laws on divorce rates in Europe

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  • González, Libertad
  • Viitanen, Tarja K.

Abstract

We analyze the effect on divorce rates of the legal reforms leading to "easier divorce" that took place in Europe during the last four decades. We construct a 54-year-long panel and exploit the different timing and nature of the reforms in divorce laws across countries. The reforms range from countries that legalized divorce to the introduction of no-fault grounds and unilateral divorce. We estimate that the introduction of no-fault, unilateral divorce increased the divorce rate by about 0.6, a sizeable effect given the average rate of 2 divorces per 1000 people in 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • González, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja K., 2009. "The effect of divorce laws on divorce rates in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 127-138, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:2:p:127-138
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Divorce rates Legislation Unilateral divorce No-fault divorce;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law

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