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Child Support and Partnership Dissolution: Evidence from the UK

Author

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  • Ian Walker
  • Yu Zhu

    ()

Abstract

This paper studies the determinants of partnership dissolution and focuses on the role of child support. We exploit the variation in child support liabilities driven by an important UK policy reform to separately identify the effects of children from the effect of child support liability. We find strong evidence that an increase in the child support liability significantly reduces dissolution risk. Our results suggest that child support criteria that are based on the non-custodial parent's income, compared to criteria based on aggregate incomes of both parents, would imply much smaller separation rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Child Support and Partnership Dissolution: Evidence from the UK," Studies in Economics 0408, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  • Handle: RePEc:ukc:ukcedp:0408
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wei-Yin Hu, 1999. "Child Support, Welfare Dependency, and Women's Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 71-103.
    2. N. Eissa & H. W. Hoynes, "undated". "The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Labor Supply of Married Couples," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1194-99, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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    4. Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
    5. Del Boca, Daniela & Flinn, Christopher J, 1995. "Rationalizing Child-Support Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1241-1262, December.
    6. Paul Bingley & Gauthier Lanot & Elizabeth Symons & Ian Walker, 1995. "Child Support Reform and the Labor Supply of Lone Mothers in the United Kingdom," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 256-279.
    7. John M. Fitzgerald & David Ribar, 2001. "The Impact of Welfare Waivers on Female Headship Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 247, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    8. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
    9. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," NBER Working Papers 7968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Irwin Garfinkel & Philip K. Robins & Pat Wong & Daniel R. Meyer, 1990. "The Wisconsin Child Support Assurance System: Estimated Effects on Poverty, Labor Supply, Caseloads, and Costs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 1-31.
    11. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 293-329, January.
    12. Paul Bingley & Elizabeth Symons & Ian Walker, 1994. "Child Support, Income Support and lone mothers," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 81-98, February.
    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. Daniel Meyer, 1993. "Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(1), pages 45-62, February.
    15. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1985. "Children as Collective Goods and Divorce Settlements," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-292, July.
    16. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1993. "The Importance of Financial Considerations in Divorce Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 71-86, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Banks & Richard Disney & Alan Duncan & John Van Reenen, 2005. "The Internationalisation of Public Welfare Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(502), pages 62-81, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    partnership dissolution; child support; empty nest effect;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • 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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