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Divorce Law Reforms And Divorce Rates In The Usa: An Interactive Fixed‐Effects Approach

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  • Dukpa Kim
  • Tatsushi Oka

Abstract

SUMMARY This paper estimates the effects of unilateral divorce laws on divorce rates in the USA from a panel of state‐level divorce rates. We use the interactive fixed‐effects model to address the issue of endogeneity due to the association between cross‐state unobserved heterogeneity and divorce law reforms. We document that earlier studies in the literature do not fully control for unobserved heterogeneity and result in mixed empirical evidence on the effects of divorce law reforms. While reconciling these conflicting results, our results suggest that divorce law reforms have temporal positive effects on divorce rates, thus confirming the 2006 findings of Wolfers. Via simulation experiments, we assess the degree to which faulty inclusion or faulty exclusion of interactive fixed effects affects the policy effect estimators. Our results suggest that faulty inclusion only results in efficiency loss whereas faulty exclusion causes bias. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Dukpa Kim & Tatsushi Oka, 2014. "Divorce Law Reforms And Divorce Rates In The Usa: An Interactive Fixed‐Effects Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 231-245, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:japmet:v:29:y:2014:i:2:p:231-245
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:respol:v:48:y:2019:i:6:p:1523-1533 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Laurent Gobillon & Thierry Magnac, 2016. "Regional Policy Evaluation: Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 535-551, July.
    3. Laurent Gobillon & Thierry Magnac, 2016. "Regional Policy Evaluation: Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 535-551, July.
    4. repec:spr:empeco:v:55:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00181-017-1415-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2015. "Linear Regression for Panel With Unknown Number of Factors as Interactive Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83(4), pages 1543-1579, July.
    6. Victor Chernozhukov & Kaspar Wüthrich & Yu Zhu, 2017. "An exact and robust conformal inference method for counterfactual and synthetic controls," CeMMAP working papers CWP62/17, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Susan Athey & Mohsen Bayati & Nikolay Doudchenko & Guido Imbens & Khashayar Khosravi, 2017. "Matrix Completion Methods for Causal Panel Data Models," Papers 1710.10251, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2018.
    8. Chigavazira, Abraham & Fisher, Hayley & Robinson, Tim & Zhu, Anna, 2019. "The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Divorce Laws to Cohabitants," Working Papers 2019-02, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
    9. Victor Chernozhukov & Kaspar Wuthrich & Yinchu Zhu, 2018. "Practical and robust $t$-test based inference for synthetic control and related methods," Papers 1812.10820, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2019.
    10. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1712-1737 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:regeco:v:72:y:2018:i:c:p:6-34 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Evan Totty, 2017. "The Effect Of Minimum Wages On Employment: A Factor Model Approach," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1712-1737, October.
    13. repec:eee:econom:v:200:y:2017:i:1:p:59-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Shen, Danqing, 2018. "Marriage, Divorce and Sorting: A Reassessment of Unilateral Divorce Laws," MPRA Paper 92848, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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