Unilateral Divorce Laws (UDLs) allow people to obtain divorce without the consent of their spouse. Using the staggered introduction of UDLs across European countries, we show that households exposed to UDLs for a longer period of time accumulate more savings. This effect holds for both financial and total wealth and is stronger at higher quantiles of the wealth distribution. Consistent with a precautionary motive for savings, we also find that exposure to UDLs increases female labour supply, numeracy, trust in others and dispositional optimism.
- Divorce risk
- Household savings