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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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