Policy Reform and Employment after Divorce: Evidence from the German Maintenance Reform of 2008

29.11.2023 - 12:00
A 5,6 Raum A 231 and ZOOM
Art der Veranstaltung: 
MZES Public Lecture
Michaela Kreyenfeld
Zugehörigkeit des Vortragenden: 
Hertie School


We are delighted to welcome Michaela Kreyenfeld (Hertie School, Berlin) as speaker of our next public lecture. 

The public lecture is scheduled for WednesdayNovember 29, 2023, at 12:00 noon, and will be held both at the MZES conference room A230/231 and via Zoom - you can join us at 11:30 am for finger food. After the talk, the floor will be open for discussion; the event will end with a small reception. 

Title: Policy Reform and Employment after Divorce: Evidence from the German Maintenance Reform of 2008

Abstract: Until recently, Germany offered generous ex-spousal alimony payments after divorce for the ‘weaker’ part in a relationship. In 2008, a maintenance reform was enacted. This reform adopted the concept of a ‘clean break’ which radically reduced the liabilities between the ex-spouses. In this paper, we use register data from the German Public Pension Fund to evaluate how the policy change affected the employment and earnings of divorced women and men in Germany. After a descriptive overview of employment and earning patterns across the ‘divorce process’, we estimate the causal effects of the reform on employment and earnings. For that purpose, we rely on a combination of a triple difference approach with a matching approach. The analysis shows a positive reform effect on divorced women’s employment and labour market earnings. It furthermore reveals that men reduced their labour market engagement after divorce. However, the reform has attenuated this negative ‘divorce effect’. The paper concludes by discussing the avenues of post-divorce policies from a gendered perspective.

Keywords: Divorce, Earnings, Employment, Gender, Policy Reform

Everybody interested is cordially invited.

Zoom-Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88595307577?pwd=cExIVVRtcG5WR0hzZHN0WVZ0NkNuZz09