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An Economic Approach to Adultery Law

Author

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  • Eric Rasmusen

    (Indiana University)

Abstract

A long-term relationship such as marriage will not operate efficiently without sanctions for misconduct, of which adultery is one example. Traditional legal sanctions can be seen as different combinations of various features, differing in who initiates punishment, whether punishment is just a transfer or has real costs, who gets the transfer or pays the costs, whether the penalty is determined ex ante or ex post, whether spousal rights are alienable, and who is punished. Three typical sanctions, criminal penalties for adultery, the tort of alienation of affections, and the self-help remedy of justification are formally modelled. The penalties are then discussed in a variety of specific applications to past and present Indiana law . In fact, there is no warranty at all. And if there are blank lines after this, well that is too bad bec as you will see they are not needed nor wanted and if I have been really careful, they will disappear just like the indentations.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Rasmusen, 2000. "An Economic Approach to Adultery Law," Law and Economics 0003005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0003005 Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC ; to print on ;
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/0003/0003005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Xuemei Liu, 2008. "An effective punishment scheme to reduce extramarital affairs: an economic approach," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 167-175, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adultery; crime; marriage; self-help;

    JEL classification:

    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior

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