A mandated waiting period between a divorce filing and the issuance of the divorce decree has been adopted in many countries to reduce impetuous divorces and encourage reconciliation. In this paper, I estimate the impact of a compulsory waiting period on the divorce rate. Since 2004, South Korean local courts had been voluntarily adopting the cooling-off policy, and later it became a national law. To evaluate the impact of the policy, I exploit variation in the timing of the policy adoption across local courts. I find that the cooling-off policy significantly decreases the divorce rate, whereas there is no significant effect on the divorce filing rate.
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The Journal of Law & Economics
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