Essays on female labor supply and fertility responses to marital dissolution
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Choices regarding labor supply and fertility by married women are generally made to maximize family welfare in harmonious marriages. However, as the prospect of marital dissolution becomes likely over time, labor supply and childbearing decisions may not be formulated in a manner that are consistent with the goal of household utility maximization, rather they are often determined to improve individual post-marital wellbeing. The current literature that addresses the effects of marital disruption on labor supply and childbearing within marriage assumes the choices made by the wife are independent of the actions undertaken by the husband and thereby ignores the possible strategic interaction between members of the household. By exploring the strategic behaviors on the part of the spouses, we find new answers to some old questions.