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Can Adequate Child Support Be Legislated? Responses to Guidelines and Enforcement

  • Laura M. Argys
  • H. Elizabeth Peters

This article explores the relationship between noncustodial parents' willingness to pay child support, state child support guidelines and enforcement efforts, and child support awards and subsequent compliance. Our game theoretic model, which distinguishes cases of asymmetric information from cases of symmetric information, demonstrates that guidelines and increased enforcement can increase payments when awards are court-ordered but may not increase payments and could even reduce child expenditures when some payment would otherwise have occurred voluntarily. Our analyses of awards to divorced or separated mothers from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are consistent with the model. (JEL J12) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbg021
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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 41 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 463-479

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Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:463-479
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