Are "good fathers" penalized on the remarriage market?

Thomas Baudin, Université Catholique de Louvain
Sandra Bree, Université Catholique de Louvain

Since the beginning of years 2000, French laws about child custody after a divorce have widely changed. In the majority of cases, mothers still get the custody of children, leaving one week-end over two and half of holidays to fathers. Despite this persistence, shared custody spreads out significantly. A recent report by Carrasco and Dufour (2015) shows that between 2003 and 2012, the proportion of cases where shared custody is chosen after a divorce increased from 12 to 21%. This percentage declines to 17% if we include separations of unmarried partners. Using a new French dataset called EPIC, we propose to test the assumption that men who get the shared custody of their children may be penalized on the marriage market as they may be seen as more risky matches compared to the other types of fathers. We assert that this assumption has more chance to be verified if divorced men are massively matched with childless women on the remarriage market. If on the contrary, they are matched massively with divorced mothers having the custody of their children, these "good fathers" may not suffer any kind of penalty. To test this, we implement a logistic regression model where the dependent variable is binary and equal one if the studied man is engaged in a new cohabiting union and zero otherwise. Our main independent variables are the type of custody of children from previous unions, the socio-economic characteristics of studied men and the characteristics of the new partner if any.

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Presented in Poster Session 2