Less Alimony After Divorce – Spouses' Behavioral Response to the 2008 Alimony Reform in Germany

34 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2018

See all articles by Julia Bredtmann

Julia Bredtmann

RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research; IZA; University College London - CReAM - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration

Christina Vonnahme

RWI – Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

The 2008 alimony reform in Germany considerably reduced post-marital and caregiver alimony. We analyze how individuals adapted to these changed rulings in terms of labor supply, the intra-household allocation of leisure, and marital stability. We use the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and conduct a difference-in-difference analysis to investigate couples’ behavioral responses to the reform. The results do not confirm theoretical expectations from labor supply and household bargaining models. In particular, we do not find evidence that women increase their labor supply as a result of the negative expected income effect. Neither do our results reveal that leisure is shifted from women to men as a response to the changed bargaining positions. In contrast, we find evidence that the reform has led to an increase in the probability to separate for married as opposed to non-married cohabiting couples.

Keywords: Alimony, Marital Instability, Female Labor Supply, Intra-Household Bargaining

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J22

Suggested Citation

Bredtmann, Julia and Vonnahme, Christina, Less Alimony After Divorce – Spouses' Behavioral Response to the 2008 Alimony Reform in Germany (November 2017). SOEPpaper No. 942. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3098831 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3098831

Julia Bredtmann

RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

IZA

University College London - CReAM - Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

Christina Vonnahme (Contact Author)

RWI – Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

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