IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmoi/87576.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Improving Child Welfare in Middle Income Countries: The Unintended Consequence of a Pro-Homemaker Divorce Law and Wait Time to Divorce

Author

Listed:
  • Misty Heggeness

Abstract

This study identifies the impact of access to and the speed of divorce on the welfare of children in a middle income largely Catholic country. Using difference-in-difference estimation techniques, I compare school enrollment for children of married and cohabiting parent households before and after the legalization of divorce. Implementing pro-homemaker divorce laws increased school enrollment anywhere from 3.4 to 5.5 percentage points, and the effect was particularly salient on secondary school students. I provide evidence that administrative processes influencing the speed of divorce affect household bargaining and investments in schooling. With every additional six months wait to the finalization of divorce, school enrollment decreased by approximately one percentage point. The impact almost doubles for secondary schooling. When contemplating development policies, advocates, policymakers, and leaders should not overlook the impact changes in family policies and administrative processes can have on advancements in child welfare and, ultimately, economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Misty Heggeness, 2019. "Improving Child Welfare in Middle Income Countries: The Unintended Consequence of a Pro-Homemaker Divorce Law and Wait Time to Divorce," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmoi:87576
    DOI: 10.21034/iwp.27
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.minneapolisfed.org/~/media/files/institute/working-papers-institute/iwp27.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.21034/iwp.27?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Claudia Martínez A., 2013. "Intrahousehold Allocation and Bargaining Power: Evidence from Chile," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(3), pages 577-605.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, March.
    3. Alderman, Harold, et al, 1995. "Unitary versus Collective Models of the Household: Is It Time to Shift the Burden of Proof?," The World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, February.
    4. Jose V. Gallegos & Jan I. Ondrich, 2017. "The effects of the Chilean divorce law on women’s first birth decisions," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 857-877, September.
    5. Betsey Stevenson, 2007. "The Impact of Divorce Laws on Marriage-Specific Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 75-94.
    6. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
    7. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
    8. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1994. "Noncooperative Bargaining Models of Marriage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 132-137, May.
    9. 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).
    10. 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.
    11. Paul A. Samuelson, 1956. "Social Indifference Curves," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 1-22.
    12. Alessandra Voena, 2015. "Yours, Mine, and Ours: Do Divorce Laws Affect the Intertemporal Behavior of Married Couples?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(8), pages 2295-2332, August.
    13. Schady, Norbert & Rosero, José, 2008. "Are cash transfers made to women spent like other sources of income?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 246-248, December.
    14. Gertler, Paul & Glewwe, Paul, 1992. "The Willingness to Pay for Education for Daughters in Contrast to Sons: Evidence from Rural Peru," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 171-188, January.
    15. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
    16. Loreto, Cox, 2011. "Divorcio en Chile," Estudios Públicos, Centro de Estudios Públicos, vol. 0(123), pages 95-187.
    17. Heggeness, Misty L., 2020. "Improving child welfare in middle income countries: The unintended consequence of a pro-homemaker divorce law and wait time to divorce," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    18. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "A Test of the Unitary and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 933-955, July.
    19. Lundberg, Shelly & Pollak, Robert A, 1993. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 988-1010, December.
    20. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    21. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288.
    22. Luis Rubalcava & Dante Contreras, 2000. "Does Gender and Birth Order Matter when Parents Specialize in ChildÂ’s Nutrition? Evidence from Chile," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 3, pages 353-386, November.
    23. Gray, Jeffrey S, 1998. "Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 628-642, June.
    24. Marcos A. Rangel, 2006. "Alimony Rights and Intrahousehold Allocation of Resources: Evidence from Brazil," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(513), pages 627-658, July.
    25. Sun, Ang & Zhao, Yaohui, 2016. "Divorce, abortion, and the child sex ratio: The impact of divorce reform in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 53-69.
    26. 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.
    27. Marjorie B. McElroy, 1990. "The Empirical Content of Nash-Bargained Household Behavior," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 559-583.
    28. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael, 2006. "Schools, Teachers, and Education Outcomes in Developing Countries," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 945-1017, Elsevier.
    29. Raquel Fernández & Joyce Cheng Wong, 2014. "Divorce Risk, Wages and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life‐Cycle Analysis of Female Labour Force Participation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 319-358, May.
    30. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
    31. Ho-Po Crystal WONG, 2016. "Credible Commitments and Marriage: When the Homemaker Gets her Share at Divorce," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 241-279, September.
    32. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Fortin & Guy Lacroix, 2002. "Marriage Market, Divorce Legislation, and Household Labor Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 37-72, February.
    33. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
    34. T. Paul Schultz, 1990. "Testing the Neoclassical Model of Family Labor Supply and Fertility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 599-634.
    35. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-349, June.
    36. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Misty L. Heggeness, 2020. "Estimating the immediate impact of the COVID-19 shock on parental attachment to the labor market and the double bind of mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1053-1078, December.
    2. Heggeness, Misty L., 2020. "Improving child welfare in middle income countries: The unintended consequence of a pro-homemaker divorce law and wait time to divorce," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    3. Bethelhem Legesse Debela & Esther Gehrke & Matin Qaim, 2021. "Links between Maternal Employment and Child Nutrition in Rural Tanzania," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(3), pages 812-830, May.
    4. Misty Heggeness, 2020. "Why Is Mommy So Stressed? Estimating the Immediate Impact of the COVID-19 Shock on Parental Attachment to the Labor Market and the Double Bind of Mothers," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 33, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    5. Ji, Xi & Wu, Guowei & Su, Pinyi & Luo, Xuanyuan & Long, Xianling, 2022. "Does legislation improvement alleviate the decoupling between welfare and wealth in China?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 201(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Duha T. Altindag & John Nunley & Alan Seals, 2017. "Child-custody reform and the division of labor in the household," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 833-856, September.
    2. Olivier Bargain & Miriam Beblo & Denis Beninger & Richard Blundell & Raquel Carrasco & Maria-Concetta Chiuri & François Laisney & Valérie Lechene & Nicolas Moreau & Michal Myck & Javier Ruiz-Castillo , 2006. "Does the Representation of Household Behavior Matter for Welfare Analysis of Tax-benefit Policies? An Introduction," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 99-111, June.
    3. Bergolo, Marcelo & Galván, Estefanía, 2018. "Intra-household Behavioral Responses to Cash Transfer Programs. Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 100-118.
    4. Xu, Zeyu, 2007. "A survey on intra-household models and evidence," MPRA Paper 3763, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Misty L. Heggeness, 2020. "Estimating the immediate impact of the COVID-19 shock on parental attachment to the labor market and the double bind of mothers," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1053-1078, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Jaime Andrés Sarmiento Espinel, 2012. "Parental investment in their children’s education," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2012-09, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
    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. Ho Lun Wong, 2021. "Effect of marriage registration on fertility and intrahousehold distribution in Thailand," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 312-338, August.
    10. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Donni, Olivier, 2009. "Non-unitary Models of Household Behavior: A Survey of the Literature," IZA Discussion Papers 4603, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Schaubert, Marianna, 2018. "Do Alimony Regulations Matter inside Marriage? Evidence from the 2008 Reform of the German Maintenance Law," EconStor Preprints 173193, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    12. Schaubert, Marianna, 2018. "Do Alimony Regulations Matter inside Marriage? Evidence from the 2008 Reform of the German Maintenance Law," VfS Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181508, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Heggeness, Misty L., 2009. "Evidence of shifts in intra-household allocation under exogenous changes in family policy and administrative procedures: The case of school enrollment in Chile," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49450, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    14. Sun, Ang & Zhao, Yaohui, 2016. "Divorce, abortion, and the child sex ratio: The impact of divorce reform in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 53-69.
    15. Robert A. Pollak, 2019. "How Bargaining in Marriage Drives Marriage Market Equilibrium," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 297-321.
    16. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Donni, Olivier, 2006. "Les modèles non unitaires de comportement du ménage : un survol de la littérature," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 82(1), pages 9-52, mars-juin.
    17. Robert Pollak, 2003. "Gary Becker's Contributions to Family and Household Economics," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 111-141, January.
    18. Misty Heggeness, 2020. "Why Is Mommy So Stressed? Estimating the Immediate Impact of the COVID-19 Shock on Parental Attachment to the Labor Market and the Double Bind of Mothers," Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute Working Papers 33, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    19. Daniela Vuri, 2018. "Joint custody law and mothers’ labor market outcomes: evidence from the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 1203-1237, October.
    20. Yoosik Youm & Edward O. Laumann, 2003. "The Effect of Structural Embeddedness on the Division of Household Labor: A Game-Theoretic Model Using a Network Approach," Rationality and Society, , vol. 15(2), pages 243-280, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household bargaining; Education; Child welfare; Divorce; Family law; Difference-in-difference estimation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmoi:87576. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cfrbmus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Kate Hansel (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cfrbmus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.