Marriage Dissolution: Property Rights or Social Ties?
Abstract: The division of property rights affects the probability of marriage dissolution. However, this effect depends on the institutional environment. Throughout a comparative institutional analysis, we use data from the 2000 censuses of Brazil and the United States. The results, following previous economic predictions, indicate that the probability of divorce, both in Brazil and the United States, is negatively related to the amount of property and income, as well as to the costs of leaving the relationship. Additionally, we founded that this relation is moderate by the enforcement and coercion degrees presents on each country, including divorce laws (formal institutions) and social coercion, as religious orientation (informal institutions). Specifically for social coercion, our results present that religious orientation is relevant for marital dissolution in both countries. However, the divorce laws and formal institutional environment as a whole reduce the probability of divorce in Brazilian jurisdiction, while among the USA couples this do not affect the divorce occurrence, even controlled for each state legislation in the USA. We suggested that this difference on law’ impact is related with a greater subjectivity on North American law, if compared with the written Brazilian code. Keywords: Marriage Contract; Marital Dissolution; Institutional Environment.