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Child-custody reform, marital investment in children, and the labor supply of married mothers

  • Nunley, John M.
  • Seals Jr., Richard Alan

Research on child custody primarily focuses on the well-being of children following divorce. We extend this literature by examining how the prospect of joint child custody affects within-marriage investment in children through changes in household bargaining power. Variation in the timing of joint-custody reforms across states provides a natural-experiment framework with which to examine within-marriage investment in children. The probability of children's private school attendance declines by 12% in states that adopt joint-custody laws. We also find evidence linking joint-custody reform to higher rates of labor force participation for married mothers, which may indicate less time devoted household production.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 14-24

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:14-24
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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