Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution

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This paper challenges the view that legal rights are not important in affecting whether people divorce but it puts as much emphasis on property rights (given, for example, by the law on alimony) as on dissolution rights. The paper sets out two stylized models of marriage and examines the consequences of fuller compensation for economic sacrifices made during marriage. If the dominant economic issue in a marriage is who undertakes household tasks, then a law giving fuller compensation makes divorce more likely. If the dominant issue is child custody, divorce is less likely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
JournalThe Economic Journal
Issue number454
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1999


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