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Divorce decisions, divorce laws and social norms

  • Victor Hiller

    ()

    (LEM - Laboratoire d'Économie Moderne - Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas : EA4442)

  • Magali Recoules

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

This article focuses on the three way relationship between change in divorce law, evolution of divorce rate and evolution of the cultural acceptance of divorce. We consider a heterogeneous population in which individuals differ in terms of the subjective loss they suffer when divorced, this loss being associated with stigmatizing social norms. The proportion of each type of individual evolves endogenously through a cultural transmission process. Divorce law is chosen by majority voting between two alternatives : mutual consent and unilateral divorce. In this framework, evolutions of divorce rate and divorce law may be jointly affected by the cultural dynamics within the society. In particular, we are able to reproduce the fact that divorce rate often raises before a legislation change. Indeed, the shift from consensual to unilateral divorce has an accelerating effect on the increase in divorce rate but is not the driving force behind this evolution.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00497439.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00497439
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00497439
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  1. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," Research Papers 1828, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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