Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Joint custody, marriages, divorces and the rest

Together with Marco Francesconi and Martin Halla, we examine joint custody and consequences for marriage, divorce, fertility, and female employment. We use registry data for the entire Austrian population and also divorce records from courts to analyze post-divorce outcomes. The results suggest that the availability of joint custody for divorcing parents---introduced in 2001---lowered divorce rates, increased marriage and marital birth rates, and lead to higher money transfers after divorce.

Joint custody provided men with more incentives to invest in marriage specific capital, which lead to more, and more stable, marriages. It also seems to have resulted in more specialization as female employment rates declined after the introduction of joint custody.

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