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No-Fault Divorce and the Compression of Marriage Ages

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  • Douglas W. Allen
  • Krishna Pendakur
  • Wing Suen

Abstract

We examine how no-fault divorce law affects the age at first marriage, when everyone has a different value of marriage. The heterogeneity of individual values implies an unambiguous negative effect on the variance of marriage age. We test this hypothesis with marriage records from 1970 to 1995. Controlling for state-level heterogeneity and for time trends, the standard deviation of the log age at first marriage drops by approximately 5% with the introduction of no-fault divorce. We find that the mean age at first marriage increases slightly, suggesting that the mean person is slightly worse off with no-fault divorce. (JEL K0, D1) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas W. Allen & Krishna Pendakur & Wing Suen, 2006. "No-Fault Divorce and the Compression of Marriage Ages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 547-558, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:3:p:547-558
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbj030
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    Cited by:

    1. Mircea Trandafir, 2014. "The Effect of Same-Sex Marriage Laws on Different-Sex Marriage: Evidence From the Netherlands," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 317-340, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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