IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mea/meawpa/11248.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability

Author

Listed:
  • Kneip, Thorsten

    ()

  • Bauer, Gerrit
  • Reinhold, Steffen

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

Abstract

Previous research on the impact of unilateral divorce law (UDL) on the prevalence of divorce has provided mixed and little cumulative results. Studies based on cross†sectional crosscountry survey data have been criticized for not being able to account for unobserved country heterogeneity, whereas studies using country†level panel data fail to account for possible mediating mechanisms at the micro level. We seek to overcome these shortcomings by using event history data from 11 European countries and employing a difference†indifference approach, thus combining the advantages of both approaches. We find that UDL in total increased the risk of marital breakdown by about 20%. This effect is, however, strongly moderated by selection into marriage, the direct effect being twice as large. Additionally, we find unilateral law effects on female labor force participation and transition to parenthood, although the latter is completely moderated by increased age at marriage. Neither labor force participation nor children have strong mediating effects but marital stability is found to be more sensitive to the legal setting in the presence of children.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:11248
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://mea.mpisoc.mpg.de/uploads/user_mea_discussionpapers/1247_248-11.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2006. "Divorce, Fertility and the Shot Gun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 12375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ulrich Kohler, 2011. "Comparing coefficients between nested nonlinear probability models," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2011 08, Stata Users Group.
    4. Reinhold, Steffen & Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit, 2011. "The Long Run Consequences of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Children –Evidence from SHARELIFE," MEA discussion paper series 11240, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
    6. González, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja K., 2009. "The effect of divorce laws on divorce rates in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 127-138, February.
    7. Lee Jin Young & Solon Gary, 2011. "The Fragility of Estimated Effects of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-11, August.
    8. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-454, June.
    9. 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.
    10. Steffen Reinhold & Thorsten Kneip & Gerrit Bauer, 2013. "The long run consequences of unilateral divorce laws on children—evidence from SHARELIFE," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1035-1056, July.
    11. Lee Lillard & Linda Waite, 1993. "A joint model of marital childbearing and marital disruption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(4), pages 653-681, November.
    12. 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 671-678, June.
    13. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-1187, December.
    14. Allen, Douglas W, 1992. "Marriage and Divorce: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 679-685, June.
    15. Evelyn Lehrer, 2008. "Age at marriage and marital instability: revisiting the Becker–Landes–Michael hypothesis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 463-484, April.
    16. 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.
    17. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Iyigun, Murat & Weiss, Yoram, 2007. "Public Goods, Transferable Utility and Divorce Laws," IZA Discussion Papers 2646, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    18. Robert Schoen & Harry Greenblatt & Robert Mielke, 1975. "California’s experience with non-adversary divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 12(2), pages 223-243, May.
    19. 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.
    20. repec:ags:stataj:196679 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Zelder, Martin, 1993. "Inefficient Dissolutions as a Consequence of Public Goods: The Case of No-Fault Divorce," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 503-520, June.
    22. R. Raley, 2001. "Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: evidence for the second demographic transition in the united states?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 59-66, February.
    23. Ulrich Kohler & Kristian Bernt Karlson & Anders Holm, 2011. "Comparing coefficients of nested nonlinear probability models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(3), pages 420-438, September.
    24. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
    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. Gerrit Bauer, 2016. "Gender Roles, Comparative Advantages and the Life Course: The Division of Domestic Labor in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 99-128, February.
    2. Angelini, Viola & Bertoni, Marco & Stella, Luca & Weiss, Christoph T., 2016. "The Ant or the Grasshopper? The Long-term Consequences of Unilateral Divorce Laws on Savings of European Households," IZA Discussion Papers 10363, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Steffen Reinhold & Thorsten Kneip & Gerrit Bauer, 2013. "The long run consequences of unilateral divorce laws on children—evidence from SHARELIFE," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1035-1056, July.

    More about this item

    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:mea:meawpa:11248. 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: (Henning Frankenberger). General contact details of provider: http://www.mea.mpisoc.mpg.de/ .

    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 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.

    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.