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The Consequences of Extending Equitable Property Division Divorce Laws to Cohabitants

Abraham Chigavazira, Hayley Fisher (), Tim Robinson () and Anna Zhu

No 2019-02, Working Papers from University of Sydney, School of Economics

Abstract: This paper analyses the effect of extending equitable property division divorce laws to unmarried cohabiting couples in Australia. Using a triple-difference fi xed 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 fi nd 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-specifi c investments and inform the ongoing international debate about the appropriate legal treatment of unmarried cohabiting couples.

Date: 2019-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
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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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