On the selection effects under consent and unilateral divorce
Baç, Mehmet (2015) On the selection effects under consent and unilateral divorce. American Law and Economics Review, 17 (1). pp. 43-86. ISSN 1465-7252 (Print) 1465-7260 (Online)
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aler/ahv003
I develop a model of marriage and divorce with privately known spouse characteristics, producing new insights: The switch from consent to unilateral divorce raises second-marriage spouse quality, hence, short-run divorce, when "good" types are in minority. Spouse quality declines from first to second marriage under both rules, but selection into first marriage is unambiguously better under unilateral divorce, which should reduce long-run divorce. An improvement in outside options amplifies the selectivity advantage of unilateral divorce provided the majority of the population marries. If the value of outside options is projected to continue rising, marriage and divorce rates should continue to fall.
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