Is there any economic justification for the 1950s ideal that the husband should be the head of the household? Financial Times' Undercover Economist thinks so. New-fangled notions that boost the bargaining power of women give spouses less incentive to invest in each other, he says. Take no-fault divorce: Its existence diminishes the likelihood that one spouse would support the other through graduate school, he says, although he acknowledges it can help a woman escape abuse.

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