Child Support and Partnership Dissolution

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 19.04.2005, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Ian Walker (Lancaster University)


This paper studies the determinants of partnership dissolution and focuses on the role of child support. We exploit the variation in child support liabilities and entitlements driven, in part, by the introduction of a new set of complex rules that determined child support liability, and by their interaction with welfare rules. Our sample has the virtue that the post 1992 variation in child support liability for all couples in partnerships formed prior to 1992 is unanticipated. We find strong evidence that the resulting large child support liabilities significantly reduced dissolution risks. Simulations based on our results suggest that child support criteria that are driven only by the non-custodial parentís income, compared to criteria driven by the aggregate incomes of both parents, would imply much smaller separation rates.

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