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Public Policies and Private Decisions: The Effect of Child Support Measures on Marriage and Divorce

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  • Vicky Barham
  • Rose Anne Devlin
  • Jie Yang

Abstract

Child support measures may affect the composition of households by altering the costs associated with marriage and divorce. In this paper, we use a rich panel data set, the Survey of Labour Income Dynamics, to examine the extent to which household formation and dissolution decisions were affected by the major child support reforms introduced in Canada in 1997. Our results suggest that they have had a small but positive impact on the decision to marry and a positive and important impact on the decision to divorce.

Suggested Citation

  • Vicky Barham & Rose Anne Devlin & Jie Yang, 2006. "Public Policies and Private Decisions: The Effect of Child Support Measures on Marriage and Divorce," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 441-474, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:35:y:2006:p:441-474 DOI: 10.1086/501093
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Bagnoli, Mark, 1993. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 185-202.
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    7. Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Divorce Laws and the Structure of the American Family," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, pages 143-174.
    8. Barham, Vicky & Devlin, Rose Anne & Yang, Jie, 2009. "A theory of rational marriage and divorce," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 93-106, January.
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    11. Bradley T. Heim, 2003. "Does Child Support Enforcement Reduce Divorce Rates?: A Reexamination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
    12. Vicky Barham & Rose Anne Devlin & Chantale LaCasse, 2000. "Are the New Child-Support Guidelines "Adequate" or "Reasonable"?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-15, March.
    13. Brinig, Margaret F & Crafton, Steven M, 1994. "Marriage and Opportunism," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 869-894, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fisher, H., 2011. "Divorce Property Division and the Decision to Marry or Cohabit," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1101, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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