This research was supported by NICHD grant #HD26555. We are grateful for comments from Mark Cronshaw, Ramana Polavarapu, Paul Schultz, William Schulze, and Robert Willis.
Can Adequate Child Support Be Legislated? Responses to Guidelines and Enforcement
Article first published online: 26 MAR 2007
Volume 41, Issue 3, pages 463–479, July 2003
How to Cite
Argys, L. M. and Peters, H. E. (2003), Can Adequate Child Support Be Legislated? Responses to Guidelines and Enforcement. Economic Inquiry, 41: 463–479. doi: 10.1093/ei/cbg021
- Issue published online: 26 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 26 MAR 2007
This article explores the relationship between noncustodial parents' willingness to pay child support, state child support guidelines and enforcement efforts, and child support awards and subsequent compliance. Our game theoretic model, which distinguishes cases of asymmetric information from cases of symmetric information, demonstrates that guidelines and increased enforcement can increase payments when awards are court-ordered but may not increase payments and could even reduce child expenditures when some payment would otherwise have occurred voluntarily. Our analyses of awards to divorced or separated mothers from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are consistent with the model.