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On unilateral divorce and the "selection of marriages" hypothesis

  • Eric Langlais

This paper revisits the issue of the unilateral divorce law, taking into account that: 1/ the decisions to engage in marriage and then to divorce or to stay married are fundamentally sequential decisions; 2/ household consumption has a large joint component, generating economies of scale. The unilateral divorce law is modelled through the combination of exclusive rights on the marriage dissolution and a monetary transfer to the parent having custody of the children. We analyze the influence of alternative compensation rules both in the short run (probability and efficiency of divorce) and in the long run (selection of marriages). We also show that a decrease in the costs of divorce proceedings has by no means commonplace consequences on marriage ontracting; particularly when consideration of parent's altruism and child support is introduced, more marriages are contracted when the cost of divorces decreases.

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File URL: http://economix.fr/pdf/dt/2009/WP_EcoX_2009-09.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX in its series EconomiX Working Papers with number 2009-9.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:drm:wpaper:2009-9
Contact details of provider: Postal: 200 Avenue de la République, Bât. G - 92001 Nanterre Cedex
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  1. Weiss, Y. & Willis, R.J., 1995. "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," Papers 33-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  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. repec:cai:poeine:pope_703_0417 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Ellman, Ira Mark & Lohr, Sharon L., 1998. "Dissolving the relationship between divorce laws and divorce rates," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 341-359, September.
  5. Helmut Rainer, 2005. "Should We Write Prenuptial Contracts?," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200514, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  6. Giulio Fella & Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2002. "Does Divorce Law Matter?," Working Papers 454, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
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  10. Abraham L. Wickelgren, 2009. "Why Divorce Laws Matter: Incentives for Noncontractible Marital Investments under Unilateral and Consent Divorce," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 80-106, May.
  11. Parkman, Allen M., 1998. "Why Are Married Women Working So Hard?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 41-49, March.
  12. Libertad González & Tarja K. Viitanen, 2006. "The Effect of Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates in Europe," Working Papers 2006003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2006.
  13. Katarina Nordblom, 2004. "Cohabitation and Marriage in a Risky World," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 325-340, 04.
  14. Stéphane Mechoulan, 2005. "“Economic Theory’s Stance On No-Fault Divorce”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 337-359, 09.
  15. Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Divorce Laws and the Structure of the American Family," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-174, 01.
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  17. Bruno Deffains & Eric Langlais, 2006. "Incentives to cooperate and the discretionary power of courts in divorce law," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 423-439, December.
  18. Clark, Simon, 1999. "Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C41-54, March.
  19. Dominique Anxo & Yusuf Kocoglu & Lennart Flood, 2002. "Offre de travail et répartition des activités domestiques et parentales au sein du couple : une comparaison entre la France et la Suède," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 352(1), pages 127-150.
  20. Sophie Guérin & Élise Amar, 2007. "Se marier ou non : le droit fiscal peut-il aider à choisir ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 401(1), pages 23-37.
  21. Bowles, Roger & Garoupa, Nuno, 2002. "Household dissolution, child care and divorce law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 495-510, December.
  22. Brinig, Margaret F & Crafton, Steven M, 1994. "Marriage and Opportunism," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 869-94, June.
  23. Antony Dnes, . "The Life-profile Theory of Marriage, Cohabitation, and Same-sex Marriage," American Law & Economics Association Annual Meetings 1079, American Law & Economics Association.
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