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Costly Divorce and Marriage Rates

  • Yurko, Anna

This paper develops a model of choice between marriage and cohabitation to study the effect of divorce costs on marriage decision. The paired agents are heterogeneous, the utility is non-transferable, and break up and divorce decisions are modeled explicitly as unilateral, that is, it takes the decision of only one partner to terminate a relationship. This framework is empirically relevant, since unilateral divorce is legal in many countries, and multiple empirical studies of the effect of changes in divorce laws on divorce rates demonstrate that Coase theorem does not hold (partners cannot bargain efficiently). The model seeks to reconcile the conflicting empirical evidence on the relationship between marriage rates and divorce costs.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 37810.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:37810
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  1. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and divorce: changes and their driving forces," Working Paper Series 2007-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Libertad González & Tarja K. Viitanen, 2006. "The Effect of Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates in Europe," Working Papers 2006003, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2006.
  3. Giulio Fella & Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2004. "Does Divorce Law Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 607-633, 06.
  4. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, 05.
  5. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  7. Imran Rasul, 2006. "Marriage Markets and Divorce Laws," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 30-69, April.
  8. Niko Matouschek & Imran Rasul, 2008. "The Economics of the Marriage Contract: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 59-110, 02.
  9. 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 1141-87, December.
  10. Brishti Guha, 2010. "Sex Ratios, Divorce Laws and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 28-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
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