Stable Income, Stable Family
We document the effect of unemployment insurance generosity on divorce and fertility, using an identification strategy that leverages state-level changes in maximum benefits over time and comparisons across workers who have been laid off and those that have not been laid off. The results indicate that higher benefit levels reduce the probability of divorce and increase the probability of having children for laid-off men. In contrast, for laid-off women we find little evidence of effects of unemployment insurance generosity on divorce and we find suggestive evidence that it reduces their fertility.
We acknowledge financial support from the MSU Initiative for Regulation and Applied Economic Analysis. All authors contributed equally to this manuscript and the names are in random order following Ray ⓡ Robson 2018. Please reference this paper as Swensen ⓡ Lindo ⓡ Regmi 2020. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.