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More or less unmarried. The impact of legal settings of cohabitation on labor market outcomes

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  • Marion Goussé
  • Marion Leturcq

Abstract

We show how the legal settings of unmarried cohabitation affect partners' labor market outcomes. In Canada, cohabiting couples are automatically entitled to certain rights after a few years of cohabitation. In some provinces, ex-cohabiting partners can claim for alimony upon separation, in others they can claim for an equal split of all the assets acquired during the relationship. As legal settings of unmarried cohabitation differ across time, provinces and duration of the relationship, it provides a unique framework to analyze how different levels of commitment affect couples' decision regarding labor market supply. Using cross-provinces variation in the legal settings and minimum duration for eligibility, we show that unmarried cohabiting men increase their labor force supply when they become eligible to a more committed cohabitation regime, whereas women decrease theirs. Higher levels of commitment induce larger effects on labor market outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Marion Goussé & Marion Leturcq, 2018. "More or less unmarried. The impact of legal settings of cohabitation on labor market outcomes," Working Papers 2018-08, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques.
  • Handle: RePEc:idg:wpaper:awp-x6kvt8ln2zfb8qyt
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    Cited by:

    1. Chigavazira, Abraham & Fisher, Hayley & Robinson, Tim & Zhu, Anna, 2019. "The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Divorce Laws to Cohabitants," IZA Discussion Papers 12102, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unmarried cohabitation; labor supply; alimony rights; common law marriage; Canada; CANADA / CANADA; COHABITATION HORS MARIAGE / NONMARITAL COHABITATION; PENSION ALIMENTAIRE / ALIMONY; POPULATION ACTIVE / LABOUR FORCE;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law

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