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“Economic Theory’s Stance On No-Fault Divorce”

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  • Stéphane Mechoulan

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Abstract

This article explores key insights that economic theory can shed on the issue of no-fault divorce in the United States, addressing modifications in the incentive structure of individuals that resulted from the legislative reforms of the 1970s. After stressing the importance of correctly interpreting and classifying divorce laws, this work investigates the contributions of the theory of property rights, the contributions of game theory and intra-household bargaining, and the contributions of general equilibrium analysis in our understanding of how divorce laws work and what their impact is. By doing so, this exposé analyzes the theoretical consequences of no-fault divorce on the decision whether to get married or divorced, on the characteristics of spouses and divorcees, on divorce rates, and on marital-specific and non marital-specific investments. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Mechoulan, 2005. "“Economic Theory’s Stance On No-Fault Divorce”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 337-359, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:337-359
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-005-3461-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Betsey Stevenson, 2007. "The Impact of Divorce Laws on Marriage-Specific Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 75-94.
    2. Plamen Nikolov & Karen Gardiner & Mike Fishman, 2003. "State Policies to promote marriage," HEW 0306003, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, February.
    4. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
    5. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Éric Langlais, 2010. "On unilateral divorce and the “selection of marriages” hypothesis," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 76(3), pages 229-256.
    2. 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.
    3. Bruno Deffains & Eric Langlais, 2006. "Incentives to cooperate and the discretionary power of courts in divorce law," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 423-439, December.
    4. Hiller, Victor & Recoules, Magali, 2013. "Changes in divorce patterns: Culture and the law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 77-87.
    5. Pablo Brassiolo, 2016. "Domestic Violence and Divorce Law: When Divorce Threats Become Credible," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 443-477.
    6. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano & Eugenio Giolito, 2012. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 215-248.
    7. Langlais, Eric, 2009. "On unilateral divorce and the "selection of marriages" hypothesis," MPRA Paper 14368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Katie R. Genadek, 2018. "Unilateral Divorce and Time Allocation in the United States," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 63-87, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    divorce; no-fault; marriage; marital investments; incentives; B4; D1; K3;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • K3 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law

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