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The long run consequences of unilateral divorce laws on children—evidence from SHARELIFE

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  • Steffen Reinhold

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  • Thorsten Kneip
  • Gerrit Bauer

Abstract

Previous research has shown adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on long-term outcomes of children. It remains an open question of whether these effects of early childhood conditions arise due to divorce laws raising the likelihood of parental marital disruption or whether unilateral divorce laws also affect children in intact marriages by changing intra-household bargaining. Using recently available data from SHARELIFE for 11 Western European countries, we address this question employing a difference-in-differences approach and controlling for childhood family structure and socioeconomic status. Like previous research, we find adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on the well-being of children. This effect remains even when controlling for childhood variables. We conclude that unilateral divorce laws affect children by changing family bargaining in intact marriages. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Steffen Reinhold & Thorsten Kneip & Gerrit Bauer, 2013. "The long run consequences of unilateral divorce laws on children—evidence from SHARELIFE," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1035-1056, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:1035-1056
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0435-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    7. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "How Unilateral Divorce Affects Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Thorsten Kneip & Gerrit Bauer & Steffen Reinhold, 2014. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(6), pages 2103-2126, December.
    9. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thorsten Kneip & Gerrit Bauer & Steffen Reinhold, 2014. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(6), pages 2103-2126, December.
    2. Gerrit Bauer, 2016. "Gender Roles, Comparative Advantages and the Life Course: The Division of Domestic Labor in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 99-128, February.
    3. Angelini, Viola & Bertoni, Marco & Stella, Luca & Weiss, Christoph T., 2016. "The Ant or the Grasshopper? The Long-term Consequences of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Savings of European Households," IZA Discussion Papers 10363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Fletcher, Jason M. & Polos, Jessica, 2017. "Nonmarital and Teen Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 10833, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Schaubert, Marianna, 2018. "Do Alimony Regulations Matter inside Marriage? Evidence from the 2008 Reform of the German Maintenance Law," EconStor Preprints 173193, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    6. Amanda Gosling & Maria D. C. Garcia-Alonso, 2015. "Endogenous divorce and human capital production," Studies in Economics 1521, School of Economics, University of Kent.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unilateral divorce; Childhood conditions; Difference-in-differences; Intra-household bargaining; Children’s human capital formation; D13; J12; J13;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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