The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Marital Institutions

  • Scott Drewianka
Reference work entry


Marital institutions are rules governing marriages and divorces. Most work to date has focused on unilateral and no-fault divorce reforms. Theoretical discussions generally hinge on the applicability of the Coase theorem. Empirical evidence is mixed, but generally indicates that those reforms played only a modest or temporary role in generating trends in marriage, divorce and fertility. There is more consistent evidence of substantial effects on intrahousehold allocation and other distributional outcomes, especially in conjunction with rules on post-divorce division of property. Several new institutions that have emerged in recent years present promising opportunities for future research.


Coase theorem Civil partnerships Covenant marriage Divorce Domestic violence Marital institutions Marriage 

JEL Classifications

J12 K36 D13 
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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott Drewianka
    • 1
  1. 1.