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No-Fault Divorce Laws and the Labor Supply of Women with and without Children


  • Katie R. Genadek
  • Wendy A. Stock
  • Christiana Stoddard


We use a difference-in-difference-in-difference estimator to compare changes in labor force participation, weeks, and hours of work associated with no-fault divorce laws, allowing for differential responses for married women with and without children. Although other research has found that the labor supply of women in general does not respond to no-fault divorce laws, we find that no-fault divorce laws are associated with increases in the labor supply of married mothers relative to married nonmothers, even after controlling for changes in female labor supply in states without no-fault divorce laws and for property division rules associated with the laws.

Suggested Citation

  • Katie R. Genadek & Wendy A. Stock & Christiana Stoddard, 2007. "No-Fault Divorce Laws and the Labor Supply of Women with and without Children," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:42:y:2007:i1:p247-274

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Blank, Rebecca M, 1988. "Simultaneously Modeling the Supply of Weeks and Hours of Work among Female Household Heads," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 177-204, April.
    2. Jean Kimmel, 1998. "Child Care Costs As A Barrier To Employment For Single And Married Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 287-299, May.
    3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    4. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Arleen Leibowitz & Jacob Alex Klerman & Linda J. Waite, 1992. "Employment of New Mothers and Child Care Choice: Differences by Children's Age," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 112-133.
    6. Chengze Simon Fan, 2001. "A model of endogenous divorce and endogenous fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 101-117.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2016. "How Does Parental Divorce Affect Children's Long-term Outcomes?," Working Papers 2016-13, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    2. Bargain, Olivier & González, Libertad & Keane, Claire & Özcan, Berkay, 2012. "Female labor supply and divorce: New evidence from Ireland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1675-1691.
    3. Martin Halla, 2009. "The Effect of Joint Custody on Marriage and Divorce," Economics working papers 2009-09, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Nunley, John M. & Seals Jr., Richard Alan, 2011. "Child-custody reform, marital investment in children, and the labor supply of married mothers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 14-24, January.
    5. Libertad González Luna & Tarja Viitanen, 2008. "The long term effects of legalizing divorce on children," Economics Working Papers 1122, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    6. Nunley, John M. & Seals, Alan, 2009. "Child-Custody Reform and Marriage-Specific Investment in Children," MPRA Paper 16313, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Grossbard, Shoshana & Vernon, Victoria, 2014. "Common Law Marriage and Male/Female Convergence in Labor Supply and Time Use," IZA Discussion Papers 7937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Elizabeth Horner, 2014. "Continued Pursuit of Happily Ever After: Low Barriers to Divorce and Happiness," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 228-240, June.
    9. 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.
    10. John M. Nunley & Richard Alan Seals Jr., 2011. "Child-Custody Reform and the Division of Labor in the Household," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2011-14, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
    11. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9282-0 is not listed on IDEAS

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