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Does Child Support Enforcement Reduce Divorce Rates?: A Reexamination

  • Bradley T. Heim

During the 1990s, expenditures on Child Support Enforcement increased dramatically, as did the amount of money collected in these efforts. This paper examines whether there is a link between the Child Support Enforcement program and the divorce behavior of married couples with children. Previous work, notably that of Nixon (1997), found a significant negative effect of Child Support Enforcement policy on the probability of divorce. However, using a panel of state divorce rates and policy variables, I find that, contrary to this previous study, Child Support Enforcement policy has no significant impact on divorce rates.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XXXVIII/4/773
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 38 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:38:y:2003:i:4:p773-791
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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  1. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-54, June.
  3. Robins, Philip K, 1986. "Child Support, Welfare Dependency, and Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 768-88, September.
  4. Lucia A. Nixon, 1997. "The Effect of Child Support Enforcement on Marital Dissolution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 159-181.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & Jane Waldfogel, 2001. "Dunning Delinquent Dads: The Effects of Child Support Enforcement Policy on Child Support Receipt by Never Married Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 207-225.
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