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How to Carve a Medical Degree: Human Capital Assets in Divorce Settlements

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Borenstein, Severin, and Paul Courant. 1989. "How to Carve a Medical Degree: Human Capital Assets in Divorce Settlements." American Economic Review, Vol 79 (December), 992-1009.

This paper examines effects of the legal rules for property division at divorce on investment in human capital during marriage. We show that current rules generally lead to suboptimal levels of investment and spousal support or to inequitable distribution of the returns from such investment, or both. We propose a new rule that performs better than the existing rules on both efficiency and equity criteria and that requires no more information than the existing rules.

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