NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Divorce Law and Women's Labor Supply

Betsey Stevenson

NBER Working Paper No. 14346
Issued in September 2008
NBER Program(s):   DAE   LE   LS

Divorce law changes made in the 1970s affected marital formation, dissolution, and bargaining within marriage. By altering the terms of the marital contract these legal changes impacted the incentives for women to enter and remain in the labor force. Whereas earlier work had suggested that the impact of unilateral divorce on female employment depended critically on laws governing property division, I show that these results are not robust to alternative specifications and controls. I find instead that unilateral divorce led to an increase in both married and unmarried female labor force participation, regardless of the pre-existing laws regarding property division.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14346

Published: Divorce Law and Women's Labor Supply Betsey Stevenson* Article first published online: 3 DEC 2008 DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-1461.2008.00143.x © 2008, Copyright the Author. Journal compilation © 2008, Cornell Law School and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Issue Journal of Empirical Legal Studies Journal of Empirical Legal Studies Volume 5, Issue 4, pages 853–873, December 2008

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