The effects of the Chilean divorce law on women’s first birth decisions

Jose V. Gallegos, Jan I. Ondrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In 2004 a new law in Chile allowed couples to divorce for the first time. The law also established compensation in case of divorce where one spouse sacrifices professional development or advancement for the good of the household. Using birth histories constructed from the Chilean Social Security Survey (Encuesta de Prevision Social–EPS) Panel 2002–2009, we investigate the effect of the divorce law on a woman’s decision of when to have a first child. We find that the divorce law increases the hazard rate of having the first child by 61 % for more educated women, controlling for socioeconomic characteristics, length of marriage and the negative trend in fertility rates observed in Chile since the mid-1960s. We also find that a given percentage increase in a woman’s potential income will increase the hazard rate by a greater percentage increase after the passage of the law.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-877
Number of pages21
JournalReview of Economics of the Household
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Chile
  • Divorce law
  • Time to first birth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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