Free to leave? A welfare analysis of divorce regimes

Raquel Fernandez, Joyce Cheng Wong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    During 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.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)72-115
    Number of pages44
    JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Macroeconomics
    Volume9
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2017

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    Divorce
    Welfare analysis
    Consent
    Conditioning
    Cohort
    Income
    Productivity
    Marital status
    Life-cycle model

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

    Cite this

    Free to leave? A welfare analysis of divorce regimes. / Fernandez, Raquel; Wong, Joyce Cheng.

    In: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Vol. 9, No. 3, 2017, p. 72-115.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Fernandez, Raquel ; Wong, Joyce Cheng. / Free to leave? A welfare analysis of divorce regimes. In: American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics. 2017 ; Vol. 9, No. 3. pp. 72-115.
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