Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello


  • Cécile Bourreau-DuboisEmail author
  • Myriam Doriat-Duban
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_680


Alimony or spousal support is a transfer of income between spouses intended mainly to reduce inequality in living standards following a divorce. Economic analysis provides two justifications for maintaining it in societies where women are now less financially dependent on their husbands and fault is no longer a decisive factor in divorce: the efficiency of marriage and the prevention of opportunism. It also provides some theoretical justifications for the methods used to calculate it.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, BETA UMR 7522Université de LorraineNancyFrance