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Property Rights and the Economics of Divorce


  • Simon Clark



With examples drawn from English and Scots law, this paper sets up a simple framework to analyse the role of property and dissolution rights in determining divorce decisions. Although firmly based on the economic analysis of choice and bargaining, the discussion is relatively non-technical and directed at drawing out implications for public policy. In particular the paper emphasises the importance of the laws on alimony and property division after divorce in affecting not only divorce decisions but also the allocation of resources within surviving marriages.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Clark, 1998. "Property Rights and the Economics of Divorce," ESE Discussion Papers 18, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:esedps:18

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-1187, December.
    2. Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-544, November.
    3. Clark, Simon, 1999. "Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 41-54, March.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Should Heather get the money?
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-03-18 20:12:41


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    Cited by:

    1. Alessandra Voena, 2011. "Yours, Mine and Ours: Do Divorce Laws Affect the Intertemporal Behavior of Married Couples?," Discussion Papers 10-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

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