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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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    Cited by:

    1. Fernández-Kranz, Daniel & Roff, Jennifer Louise & Sun, Hugette, 2018. "Can Reduced Child Support Make Joint Custody Bad for Children? The Role of Economic Incentives in U.S. Divorce Law on Child Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 12025, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Martin Halla, 2015. "Do joint custody laws improve family well-being?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 147-147, May.
    3. Misty L. Heggeness, 2020. "Estimating the immediate impact of the COVID-19 shock on parental attachment to the labor market and the double bind of mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1053-1078, December.
    4. 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.
    5. Heggeness, Misty L., 2020. "Improving child welfare in middle income countries: The unintended consequence of a pro-homemaker divorce law and wait time to divorce," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    6. de Blasio, Guido & Vuri, Daniela, 2013. "Joint Custody in the Italian Courts," IZA Discussion Papers 7472, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Duha T. Altindag & John Nunley & Alan Seals, 2017. "Child-custody reform and the division of labor in the household," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 833-856, September.
    8. 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.
    9. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2019. "The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on interstate migration in the United States," MPRA Paper 97767, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:esx:essedp:724 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. 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 of Labor Economics (IZA).

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