Changing the Rules Midway: The Impact of Granting Alimony Rights on Existing and Newly Formed Partnerships

32 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by Pierre‐Andre Chiappori

Pierre‐Andre Chiappori

Columbia University

Murat Iyigun

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics; Harvard University - Center for International Development (CID); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jeanne Lafortune

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Institute of Economics; IZA

Yoram Weiss

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: September 2017

Abstract

This article analyses the effect of a reform granting alimony rights to cohabiting couples in Canada. A collective household model with a matching framework predicts that changes in alimony laws would affect existing couples and couples‐to‐be differently. For existing couples, it benefits the intended beneficiary but, for couples not yet formed, it generates offsetting intra‐household transfers and lower intra‐marital allocations for the beneficiary. Our empirical analyses confirm these predictions. Among couples united before the reform, obtaining the right to petition for alimony led women to lower their labour force participation but not among newly formed cohabiting couples.

Suggested Citation

Chiappori, Pierre‐Andre and Iyigun, Murat F. and Lafortune, Jeanne and Weiss, Yoram, Changing the Rules Midway: The Impact of Granting Alimony Rights on Existing and Newly Formed Partnerships (September 2017). The Economic Journal, Vol. 127, Issue 604, pp. 1874-1905, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3031015 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecoj.12385

Pierre‐Andre Chiappori (Contact Author)

Columbia University

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
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Murat F. Iyigun

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-6653 (Phone)
303-492-8622 (Fax)

Harvard University - Center for International Development (CID) ( email )

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Germany

Jeanne Lafortune

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Institute of Economics ( email )

Casilla 76
Correo 17
Santiago
Chile

IZA ( email )

Yoram Weiss

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978
Israel
+972 3 640 9715 (Phone)
+972 3 640 9908 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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