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The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Divorce Laws to Cohabitants

Abraham Chigavazira (), Hayley Fisher, Tim Robinson () and Anna Zhu
Additional contact information
Abraham Chigavazira: Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, The University of Melbourne, https://www.findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/display/person426043
Hayley Fisher: University of Sydney
Anna Zhu: Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, The University of Melbourne

Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series from Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne

Abstract: This paper analyses the effect of extending equitable property division divorce laws to unmarried cohabiting couples in Australia. Using a triple-difference fixed effects approach we show that existing couples are more likely to make relationship-specific investments after being exposed to laws enabling the equitable redistribution of property in the event of relationship breakdown. In affected couples we find that men increase their employment and women increase time spent on housework. Couples have more children and are more likely to become home owners. These results demonstrate the causal effect of property division laws on relationship-specific investments and inform the ongoing international debate about the appropriate legal treatment of unmarried cohabiting couples.

Keywords: divorce law; cohabitation; relationship-specific investments; HILDA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 K36 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 30pp
Date: 2019-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
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https://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/__data/a ... 015291/wp2019n03.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Divorce Laws to Cohabitants (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Divorce Laws to Cohabitants (2019) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2019n03

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