The Role of Paternity Presumption and Custodial Rights for Understanding Marriage Patterns

20 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2013

See all articles by Lena Edlund

Lena Edlund

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

In marriage, men obtain and women surrender parental rights because: (i) by default, an unmarried woman giving birth is the child's only known parent and sole custodian; (ii) a married mother shares custody with her husband and the presumed father; (iii) custody allocation in marriage is fixed; (iv) private contracts on rights over children amount to trade in children and have limited legal validity. As a result: (i) women, not men, marry up; (ii) higher income has opposite effects on men's and women's willingness to marry; (iii) out‐of‐wedlock fertility results when trade is not feasible.

Suggested Citation

Edlund, Lena, The Role of Paternity Presumption and Custodial Rights for Understanding Marriage Patterns (October 2013). Economica, Vol. 80, Issue 320, pp. 650-669, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2332925 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecca.12035

Lena Edlund (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-5489 (Phone)
212-854-8059 (Fax)

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