Does Unilateral Divorce Impact Women's Labor Supply? Evidence from Mexico

51 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2020 Last revised: 20 May 2021

See all articles by Lauren Hoehn-Velasco

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies

Jacob Penglase

San Diego State University - Department of Economics

Date Written: July 22, 2020

Abstract

From 2008 to 2018, Mexican states introduced unilateral no-fault divorce. Using state-level variation in the timing and adoption of these divorce laws, we study how the legislation affected married women's labor supply. Our results suggest that married women did not increase their labor force participation. Among employed married women, hours worked increased, but the effect is not large enough to be observed in the full sample of women. We find suggestive evidence that social norms against female labor supply and lack of access to formal work may explain the limited labor supply response. Our results highlight the importance of the cultural context in studying the consequences of divorce legislation.

Keywords: marriage and divorce, divorce legislation, developing countries, household bargaining, collective model

JEL Classification: D13, J12, K36, O12

Suggested Citation

Hoehn-Velasco, Lauren and Penglase, Jacob, Does Unilateral Divorce Impact Women's Labor Supply? Evidence from Mexico (July 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3658260 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3658260

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Policy Studies ( email )

Department of Economics
35 Broad Street, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Jacob Penglase

San Diego State University - Department of Economics ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182
United States

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