Is being half-time mother help to work? The role of shared custody on women’s labour force participation after divorce

Bertrand Garbinti, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE)
Carole Bonnet, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Anne Solaz, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

If separated women are still more likely than men to have sole physical custody of children, the proportion of parents who share custody increased substantially in many countries. The extensive literature on the economic consequences of divorce emphasizes the higher risk for separated women to enter poverty. Partly due to unequal marital specialization, the sole physical custody is also said to be responsible for the persistence of poverty. To what extent does the type of child custody play on labor market behaviors? Does shared custody, by relaxing family constraints, help mothers to return to work more easily? Using a large sample of 2009 divorcees from French exhaustive administrative income-tax database, and taking the opportunity of huge territorial discrepancies observed in shared custody, we are able to correct for the possible endogeneity of shared custody and to estimate the effect of share custody on women’s labour market outcomes.

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Presented in Session 52: Life course and female employment