The effect of strengthening common law marriage in British Columbia

Yongli Shi

In 2013 B.C. moved the property rights of common law spouses closer to those of married couples. My thesis estimates how this increase in property rights affected people’s choice of marital status in B.C.

I use both difference in differences and event study methods to measure the policy effect. I found that couples were less likely to be married and more likely to live as common-law partners following the policy change.