Despite U.S. child custody laws favoring joint custody since the mid 1970s, mother sole custody is still the main custody arrangement. This paper proposes that differences in fecundity between men and women play a role in accounting for this fact. Men are more likely to have more children after a divorce because they are fertile for more years than women. This acts as an incentive for couples to agree on mothers’ sole custody. I build a general equilibrium model of endogenous marriage, divorce and remarriage with differential fecundity between women and men where couples choose custody allocation. Custody depends on the fecundity differential and father’s time spent with children. I calibrate my model to be consistent with observed U.S. child custody arrangements and marriage statistics and using changes over time in assisted reproductive technology (ART) and father’s time spent with children I quantify the effect of the fecundity differential on child custody. Results show that if assisted reproductive technology was not available, the current share of couples with joint custody would be 15.67% lower. Considering that fathers’ time with children has also changed over time, I find that a reduction in the fecundity differential accounts for an increase in the share of couples with joint custody of 4%.
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera