Free to Leave? A Welfare Analysis of Divorce Regimes†

Free to Leave? A Welfare Analysis of Divorce Regimes† AbstractDuring the 1970s, the United States switched from mutual consent to a unilateral divorce regime. Who benefited/lost from this change? We develop a dynamic life cycle model in which agents make consumption, saving, work, and marital-status decisions under a given divorce regime. Calibrating the model to match key moments for the 1940 cohort and conditioning solely on gender, our ex ante welfare analysis finds that women fare better under mutual consent whereas men prefer a unilateral system. Conditioning as well on initial productivity (expected income), we find that the top three quintiles of men and the top two quintiles of women prefer unilateral divorce. (JEL D91, J12, J16, K36) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics American Economic Association

Free to Leave? A Welfare Analysis of Divorce Regimes†

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 © American Economic Association
ISSN
1945-7715
D.O.I.
10.1257/mac.20150293
Publisher site
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Abstract

AbstractDuring the 1970s, the United States switched from mutual consent to a unilateral divorce regime. Who benefited/lost from this change? We develop a dynamic life cycle model in which agents make consumption, saving, work, and marital-status decisions under a given divorce regime. Calibrating the model to match key moments for the 1940 cohort and conditioning solely on gender, our ex ante welfare analysis finds that women fare better under mutual consent whereas men prefer a unilateral system. Conditioning as well on initial productivity (expected income), we find that the top three quintiles of men and the top two quintiles of women prefer unilateral divorce. (JEL D91, J12, J16, K36)

Journal

American Economic Journal: MacroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jul 1, 2017

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