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CREDIBLE COMMITMENTS AND MARRIAGE: WHEN THE HOMEMAKER GETS HER SHARE AT DIVORCE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 September 2016

Ho-Po Crystal Wong*
Affiliation:
National Tsing Hua University
*
Address correspondence to: Ho-Po Crystal Wong, Department of Economics, National Tsing Hua University, R513, CTM, No. 101, Section 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu, Taiwan; e-mail: wonghopo817@gmail.com.
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Abstract:

A variety of states in the United States have adopted the “homemaking provision” in their divorce laws since the 1980s. The provision requires judges to recognize homemakers’ contribution to their marriages in dividing marital properties at divorce. I model the marital decisions of couples as a sequential game, in which the potential wife’s decision in whether to marry and specialize in home production depends on whether she is legally protected by the homemaking provision, as the law would reinforce her post-divorce property rights and therefore increase her bargaining power within the marriage. I use the variation in the timing of the passage of the homemaking provision to identify its effect on marriage. I find that the provision substantially increases marriages using both state- and individual-level data.

Type
Research Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Université catholique de Louvain 2016 

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