Marriage Dissolution: Property Rights or Social Ties?
Maira Covre Sussai Soares
Catholic University Leuven
Andre C. B. Aquino
University of Sao Paulo - FEARP-USP
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
January 11, 2010
The division of property rights affects the probability of marriage dissolution. However, this effect depends on the institutional environment. Throughout a comparative institutional analysis, we use data from the 2000 censuses of Brazil and the United States. The results indicate that the probability of divorce, both in Brazil and the United States, is negatively related to the amount of property and income and to the costs of leaving the relationship. Additionally, we found that this relation is moderated by the institutional enforcement and coercion degrees presents in each country, including divorce laws and religious coercion. Specifically for religious coercion, we found that religious orientation is relevant for marital dissolution in both countries. Nonetheless, the guarantees of property rights by divorce laws, reduce the probability of divorce in Brazilian jurisdiction, but do not affect the divorce occurrence among the USA couples, even when controlled to mitigate the differences between state legislation. We suggested that this difference on law’ impact is related with a greater unpredictability on North American common law, if compared with the written Brazilian civil code.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: Marriage Contract, Marital Dissolution, Institutional Environment, Property Rights, Legislation, Religion
JEL Classification: J12, D1working papers series
Date posted: January 27, 2010
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