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

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  • Laura M. Argys
  • H. Elizabeth Peters

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura M. Argys & H. Elizabeth Peters, 2003. "Can Adequate Child Support Be Legislated? Responses to Guidelines and Enforcement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 463-479, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:463-479
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbg021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Richard C. K. Burdekin & Marc D. Weidenmier, 2001. "Inflation Is Always and Everywhere a Monetary Phenomenon: Richmond vs. Houston in 1864," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1621-1630, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christine Hauser, 2008. "Child Support Enforcement and Children's Consumption," 2008 Meeting Papers 630, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Reagan A. Baughman, 2017. "The impact of child support on child health," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 69-91, March.
    3. Lenna Nepomnyaschy, 2007. "Child support and father-child contact: Testing reciprocal pathways," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(1), pages 93-112, February.
    4. repec:pri:crcwel:wp06-09-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Lenna Nepomnyaschy & Irwin Garfinkel, 2007. "Child Support Enforcement and Fathers' Contributions to Their Nonmarital Children," Working Papers 909, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    6. C├ęcile Bourreau-Dubois & Myriam Doriat-Duban & Jean-Claude Ray, 2014. "Child support order: how do judges decide without guidelines? Evidence from France," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 431-452, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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