Did Unilateral Divorce raise house prices in Europe?

Rafael González-Val (Universidad de Zaragoza)
Miriam Marcén (Universidad de Zaragoza)


In this paper, we analyse the impact of divorce law reforms on house prices for a sample of ten European countries between 1960 and 2008, taking advantage of the real house price index developed by Knoll et al. (2017). The period of reforms began in 1970, and differences in the timing of entry into force of unilateral divorce laws across countries provide a quasi-experimental setting. We estimate the static and dynamic effect of divorce law reforms, finding a positive and significant effect of these reforms on real house prices, mainly concentrated in years 3 to 6 after the reforms, even after controlling for a set of country-specific variables, as well as country-specific linear and quadratic time trends. The dynamic effect of unilateral divorce law reforms accounts in those years for 22% of the average interannual increment in the real house price index.

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