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Does Custody Law Affect Family Behavior In and Out of Marriage?

  • Rene Böheim

    (Department of Economics, University of Linz)

  • Marco Francesconi

    (Department of Economics, University of Essex)

  • Martin Halla

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)

We examine the effect of joint custody on marriage, divorce, fertility and female employment in Austria using individual-level administrative data, covering the entire population. We also use unique data obtained from court records to analyze the effect on post-divorce outcomes. Our estimates show that joint custody significantly reduces divorce and female employment rates, significantly increases marriage and marital birth rates, and leads to a substantial increase in the total money transfer received by mothers after divorce. We interpret these results as evidence against Becker-Coase bargains and in support of a mechanism driven by a resource redistribution that favors men giving them greater incentives to invest in marriage specific capital.

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Paper provided by Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number wuwp149.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwwuw:wuwp149
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