Til Laws Do Us Part?: The Impact of Changing Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates in Mexico

Nellie Lew, University of California, Santa Barbara
Trinidad Beleche, University of California, Riverside

During the 1990s many states in Mexico began to reform their civil codes on divorce by adopting more liberal provisions for divorce. At the same time the divorce rates in Mexico have been rising. Absent transaction costs, the Coase Theorem suggests divorce reform would have no real effect on divorce rate. Using a panel of state-level data in Mexico from 1993 to 2005, we examine the impact of law changes that relax the grounds for divorce on a state’s divorce rate. Our difference-in-difference estimates suggest that liberalization of the divorce laws did not contribute to an increase in the divorce rate.

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Presented in Poster Session 3