NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Collateralized Marriage

Jeanne Lafortune, Corinne Low

NBER Working Paper No. 27210
Issued in May 2020
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

We develop a model of the household where investments in public goods can be made at the cost of future earnings. If couples cannot commit ex ante to a sufficiently equal post-divorce allocation, specialization and public goods’ creation will be sub-optimal. However, investing in joint assets, which the marriage contract specifies are to be divided in the case of divorce, can reduce this problem by offering insurance to the lower earning partner. Our model demonstrates that access to this “collateralized” version of the contract will lead to more household specialization, more public goods, and a higher value of marriage. Empirically, we show that quasi-exogenous variation in access to collateralization leads to more specialization, and that wealth has become a more important determinant of marriage in response to policies that have made marriage and cohabitation more similar. Wealthy individuals can thus access a more advantageous marriage contract, which has important policy implications.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27210

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us