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The Eect of Property Division Laws on Spouses' Labor Supply: Evidence from Spain

Pablo Brassiolo
University Pompeu Fabra, Spain

This research studies the intra-household decision process from a micro-economic, empirical point of view, with particular reference to its relationship with legislation regulating divorce. In particular, it asks whether a legal change towards a more equitable distribution of matrimonial wealth upon divorce in a separate property regime that modies spouses' bargaining position within household can lead to: i) a change in their labor-supply decisions, and ii) an increase in the incidence of divorce. The originality of the project is to exploit a natural experiment in Spain where dierent regions have dierent rules to divide marital property between divorcing spouses. Preliminary ndings point to a signicant reduction in female labor supply when the distribution of marital property after divorce is more favorable to the wife. Also, changing the rules governing property division upon divorce have had a positive and signicant impact on the incidence of divorce, although this eect seems to dissipate in the long run.

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