IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/ucp/jlstud/v31y2002i1p119-37.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Rule of One-Third

Author

Listed:
  • Geddes, Rick
  • Zak, Paul J

Abstract

The Rule of One-Third guaranteed wives a life interest in one-third of their husband's estate upon marital dissolution. We document the ubiquity of this legal construct and demonstrate that children's outcomes are imperiled absent a wife's residual claim on her husband's estate. Using ancient Roman law as an example, we argue that the patriarch, or paterfamilias, is the primary legal entity with an interest in creating and enforcing the Rule of One-Third. In a game-theoretic model, we show that the Rule of One-Third obtains when mothers and fathers are equally important in producing children's human capital and when it is enforced by the paterfamilias or by modern legal institutions. The Rule of One-Third places the cost of marital dissolution on the household rather than society and solves a contracting problem between the husband and wife when each is specialized in tasks the other cannot perform well. Copyright 2002 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Geddes, Rick & Zak, Paul J, 2002. "The Rule of One-Third," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 119-137, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:31:y:2002:i:1:p:119-37
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/339289
    Download Restriction: Access to the online full text or PDF requires a subscription.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joskow, Paul L, 1988. "Asset Specificity and the Structure of Vertical Relationships: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 95-117, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Rick Geddes & Dean Lueck & Sharon Tennyson, 2012. "Human Capital Accumulation and the Expansion of Women's Economic Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(4), pages 839-867.
    2. Paul J. Zak, 2002. "Genetics, family structure, and economic growth," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 343-365.
    3. Paul J. Zak & Kwang Woo Park, "undated". "Population Genetics and Economic Growth," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-20, Claremont Colleges.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:31:y:2002:i:1:p:119-37. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division). General contact details of provider: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLS/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.