Effects of the Joint Custody Law in Italy

36 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Guido de Blasio

Guido de Blasio

Bank of Italy

Daniela Vuri

University of Rome Tor Vergata; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

We study the effect of a 2006 reform to Italian family law that made joint custody the default for separating couples. The reform boosted joint legal custody by about 75 percentage points. Our research design uses difference‐in‐differences to estimate reform effects on the likelihood of a contested settlement, length of trial, and transfers between separating parents. The analysis is based on Italian individual‐level administrative data, which cover the entire population. The joint custody default appears to have increased dispute rates and length of trial markedly, without affecting transfers. There is no evidence that mothers buy custody rights back through reduced support. Our findings are consistent with the excessive discretion given to judges on some aspects of law implementation, which resulted in a partial application of the reform.

Suggested Citation

de Blasio, Guido and Vuri, Daniela, Effects of the Joint Custody Law in Italy (September 2019). Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 479-514, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3607361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jels.12225

Guido De Blasio (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

Daniela Vuri

University of Rome Tor Vergata ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Rome, Lazio 00133
Italy

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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