Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage: The Catalyst Effect of Unilateral Divorce

Li, Li and Mak, Eric (2016): Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage: The Catalyst Effect of Unilateral Divorce.

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Abstract

Unilateral divorce catalyzes the dissolution of unstable marriages and reorganizing better ones. To examine how unilateral divorce affects marital duration, we develop a simple DID stochastic dominance comparison across legal regimes and marital cohorts. This DID comparison identifies that unilateral divorce catalyzes the dissolution of unstable marriages; more importantly, remarriages after the termination of first marriages also undergo significantly faster in the unilateral regime. We study the underlying mechanism using a parsimonious unitary model of marriage-remarriage cycle with three features: 1) on-the-job (marriage) search (OJS); 2) marital investment; 3) OJS feedbacks as an exogenous spousal separation event in the equilibrium. Under unilateral divorce, the lowered time cost involved in separation results in front-loaded OJS.

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