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Parental Responses to Child Support Obligations: Evidence from Administrative Data

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  • Maya Rossin-Slater
  • Miriam Wüst

Abstract

We leverage non-linearities in Danish child support guidelines and rich administrative data to provide causal estimates of parental behavioral responses to child support obligations. We estimate that a 1,000 DKK ($149) increase in a father's obligation is associated with a 506 DKK ($75) increase in his payment. A higher obligation also reduces father-child co-residence, pointing to substitution between financial and non-pecuniary investments. Further, obligations increase parental post-separation fertility, and reduce labor supply among high-income fathers. Our findings suggest that government efforts to increase child investments through mandates on parents can be complicated by their behavioral responses to them.

Suggested Citation

  • Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "Parental Responses to Child Support Obligations: Evidence from Administrative Data," NBER Working Papers 22227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22227
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    3. Schaubert, Marianna, 2022. "Do courts know how to incentivize? Behavioral response of non-resident parents to child support obligations," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    4. Hanno Foerster, 2020. "Untying the Knot: How Child Support and Alimony Affect Couples’ Decisions and Welfare," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_115v2, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    5. Gunnsteinsson, Snaebjorn & Molina, Teresa & Adhvaryu, Achyuta & Christian, Parul & Labrique, Alain & Sugimoto, Jonathan & Shamim, Abu Ahmed & West, Keith P., 2022. "Protecting infants from natural disasters: The case of vitamin A supplementation and a tornado in Bangladesh," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    6. Hayley Fisher, 2017. "The Impact of Child Support on the Household Income and Labour Supply of Payee Lone Mothers," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 93(301), pages 189-213, June.
    7. Kranz, Daniel Fernández & Roff, Jennifer & Sun, Hugette, 2021. "Can economic incentives for joint custody harm children of divorced parents? Evidence from state variation in child support laws," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 189(C), pages 1-27.
    8. Schaubert, Marianna, 2018. "Behavioral Response of Non-Resident Parents to Child Support Obligations: Evidence From SOEP," EconStor Preprints 203675, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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