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Department of Economics, WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) Working papers, Department of Economics, WU (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien)

No 149:
Does Custody Law Affect Family Behavior In and Out of Marriage?

Rene Böheim (), Marco Francesconi () and Martin Halla ()

Abstract: We examine the effect of joint custody on marriage, divorce, fertility and female employment in Austria using individual-level administrative data, covering the entire population. We also use unique data obtained from court records to analyze the effect on post-divorce outcomes. Our estimates show that joint custody significantly reduces divorce and female employment rates, significantly increases marriage and marital birth rates, and leads to a substantial increase in the total money transfer received by mothers after divorce. We interpret these results as evidence against Becker-Coase bargains and in support of a mechanism driven by a resource redistribution that favors men giving them greater incentives to invest in marriage specific capital.

Keywords: Divorce, Fertility, Bargaining, Intrahousehold Allocations, Austria; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J12,; J13,; J18,; K36,; N32,; R2; (follow links to similar papers)

February 2013

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