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

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

Abstract

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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  • Nunley, John M. & Seals Jr., Richard Alan, 2011. "Child-custody reform, marital investment in children, and the labor supply of married mothers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 14-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:14-24
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Elaina Rose & Ho-Po Crystal Wong, 2014. "But Who Will Get Billy? The Effect of Child Custody Laws on Marriage," Working Papers 14-30, Department of Economics, West Virginia University.
    2. Wasi, Nada & den Berg, Bernard van & Buchmueller, Thomas C., 2012. "Heterogeneous effects of child disability on maternal labor supply: Evidence from the 2000 US Census," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 139-154.
    3. Martin Halla, 2015. "Do joint custody laws improve family well-being?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 147-147, May.
    4. repec:esx:essedp:724 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. René Böheim & Mario Francesconi & Martin Halla, 2012. "Does custody law affect family behavior in and out of marriage?," Economics working papers 2012-12, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    6. Rose, Elaina & Wong, Crystal (Ho Po), 2014. "But Who Will Get Billy? The Effect of Child Custody Laws on Marriage," IZA Discussion Papers 8611, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Maiti, Abhradeep, 2015. "Effect of joint custody laws on children's future labor market outcomes," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 22-31.
    8. de Blasio, Guido & Vuri, Daniela, 2013. "Joint Custody in the Italian Courts," IZA Discussion Papers 7472, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. John M. Nunley & Richard Alan Seals Jr., 2011. "Child-Custody Reform and the Division of Labor in the Household," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2011-14, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    10. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.
    11. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9282-0 is not listed on IDEAS

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