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Does unilateral divorce impact women’s labor supply? Evidence from Mexico

Lauren Hoehn-Velasco () and Jacob Penglase

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2021, vol. 187, issue C, 315-347

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 J12 K36 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2021.04.028

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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