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The Long Run Consequences of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Children –Evidence from SHARELIFE

  • Reinhold, Steffen

    ()

  • Kneip, Thorsten

    ()

  • Bauer, Gerrit

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Previous research has shown adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on long-term outcomes of children. It remains an open question of whether long-term effects of early childhood conditions arise because divorce laws raise the likelihood of parental marital disruption, or whether unilateral divorce laws also affect children in intact marriages by changing intra-household bargaining. Using newly available data from SHARELIFE for eleven Western European countries we address this question employing a differences-in-differences approach and controlling for childhood family structure and socioeconomic status. Like previous research, we find strong adverse effects of growing up under unilateral divorce laws on the well-being of children, and this effect remains even when controlling for childhood variables. We conclude that unilateral divorce laws affect children by changing family bargaining in intact marriages.

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Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 11240.

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Date of creation: 18 Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:11240
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  1. Julio C�ceres-Delpiano & Eugenio Giolito, 2012. "The Impact of Unilateral Divorce on Crime," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 215 - 248.
  2. Betsey Stevenson, 2008. "Divorce Law and Women's Labor Supply," NBER Working Papers 14346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christina Paxson & Jane Waldfogel, 2002. "Work, Welfare, and Child Maltreatment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 435-474, July.
  4. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn, 2009. "Endogeneous Household Interaction," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 109, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  5. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  6. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  7. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288, 02.
  8. 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.
  9. Gonzalez, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja, 2008. "The Long Term Effects of Legalizing Divorce on Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3789, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Changes in compulsory schooling and the causal effect of education on health: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 340-354, March.
  11. Andrew Cherlin & Kathleen Kiernan & P. Chase-Lansdale, 1995. "Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 299-318, August.
  12. 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.
  13. Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," MEA discussion paper series 11248, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  14. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "How Unilateral Divorce Affects Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen & Salm, Martin, 2011. "Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from the educational expansion in Western Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 862-872, October.
  16. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
  17. Parkman, Allen M, 1992. "Unilateral Divorce and the Labor-Force Participation Rate of Married Women, Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 671-78, June.
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