Journal Article

Co-Working Partners: The Influence Of Legal Arrangements

Esther De Ruijter and Bente Braat

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 22, issue 3, pages 421-435
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
Co-Working Partners: The Influence Of Legal Arrangements

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  • Family Law
  • Marriage and the Family


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The self-employed can benefit from having their partner work in their business due to fiscal benefits, low wage costs, and a lower risk of opportunism, following from the integration of business activities with a significant partner relationship. However, if the intimate relationship ends, the co-working partner's investments in the firm are lost. Legal arrangements, such as marriage, can protect the co-working partner and reduce the risks associated with co-working. This article focuses on the influence of the legal arrangements (of the partner relationship and the business) and the stability of the relationship on the decision of the partner to participate in the firm. Using data from the Households in the Netherlands Survey 1995 (HIN95), analyses reveal that legal arrangements are essential in the co-working decision. Co-working occurs more often if (i) partners are married as opposed to cohabiting and (ii) if the co-working partner is protected by the legal status of the business. In addition, the stability of the partner relationship has an important influence on co-working.

Journal Article.  5301 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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