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Expenditure Decisions of Divorced Mothers and Income Composition

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  • Daniela Del Boca
  • Christopher J. Flinn

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the relationship between the income sources of custodial divorced parents and their expenditure patterns. We use data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey to directly investigate the issue of whether or not divorced mothers receiving child support income spend larger amounts on "child goods" than those not receiving child support holding total household income constant. By comparing the estimated coefficients on child support income and other income in an "endogenous" Engel curve specification we argue that we can classify child goods as being public or private and say something about the expenditure patterns of noncustodial fathers under a Nash equilibrium model of parental expenditures on public child goods and some plausible assumptions regarding the manner in which child support transfer decisions are made by noncustodial fathers. Our empirical results indicate that income composition does affect the expenditure patterns of divorced mothers and that consumption externalities exist even among divorced parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniela Del Boca & Christopher J. Flinn, 1994. "Expenditure Decisions of Divorced Mothers and Income Composition," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 742-761.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:29:y:1994:iii:1:p:742-761
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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. Whitaker, James B. & Effland, Anne, 2009. "Income Stabilization Through Government Payments: How Is Farm Household Consumption Affected?," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-13, April.
    3. World Bank, 2011. "Work and Family : Latin American and Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance
      [Trabajo & familia : mujeres de América Latina y el Caribe en busca de un nuevo equilibrio - Resumen ejecuivo (Vol. 2
      ," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12489, The World Bank.
    4. Welling, Linda & Bearance, Marci, 2002. "Who's minding the kids? An economic comparison of sole and joint custody," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 15-29.
    5. Del Boca, D. & Ribero, R., 1999. "Visitations and Transfers in Non Intact Households," Papers 807, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    6. Steven Garasky & Susan Stewart, 2007. "Evidence of the Effectiveness of Child Support and Visitation: Examining Food Insecurity among Children with Nonresident Fathers," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 105-121, March.
    7. D. Del Boca & C. J. Flinn, "undated". "Welfare effects of fixed and percentage-expressed child support awards," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1041-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    8. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Child Support and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Studies in Economics 0811, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    9. Runnemark, Emma & Hedman, Jonas & Xiao, Xiao, 2014. "Do Consumers Pay More Using Debit Cards than Cash? An Experiment," Working Papers 2014:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    10. Daniela Del Boca, 2003. "Mothers, fathers and children after divorce: The role of institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(3), pages 399-422, August.
    11. Marie-Louise Leroux & Grégory Ponthière, 2013. "Optimal prevention when coexistence matters," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1095-1127, July.
    12. Madden, D., 1999. "The Kids are Alright? An Analysis of Child Benefit using Irish Data," Papers 99/26, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
    13. Felső, Flóra Á & Soetevent, Adriaan R., 2014. "Broad and narrow bracketing in gift certificate spending," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 284-302.
    14. 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.
    15. Daniela Del Boca & Rocio Ribero, 2003. "Visitations and Transfers After Divorce," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 187-204, September.
    16. Del Boca, Daniela & Ribero, Rocio, 1998. "Transfers in non-intact households," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-478, December.
    17. Peter Kooreman, 2000. "The Labeling Effect of a Child Benefit System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 571-583, June.

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