Does the Unilateral Divorce Laws Cause Child Weight Gain?

Rafaela Nogueira Carvalho


This paper studies the impact of unilateral divorce laws on child weight gain. I use difference-in-differences approach exploiting time and state variation in the adoption of the unilateral divorce law. I analyze a comprehensive nationwide health examination survey (NHANES I) during 1971-1974. The results show that exposure to unilateral divorce law leads to bigger Body Mass Index (BMI) for children between 2 and 18 years.However, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this weight gain is still under the normality patterns. I also investigate the possibles transmission mechanisms for the increase in BMI. Results indicate that for the specic age group of children between 7 and 18 years the exposure to unilateral divorce law leads to bigger BMI and bigger probability to be overweight.


Unilateral divorce law; child health; child weight

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Economic Analysis of Law Review  -  ISSN 2178-0587

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