Unintended Consequence Watch: Fake Divorces

Patrick Chovanec notes a trend in China:

The other day, I was talking with a part-time maid we had hired to help us settle in to our new apartment after relocating within Beijing. She had told us, when we hired her, that she was divorced. Now that she had gotten to know us, however, she informed me matter of factly that while she was, in fact, officially divorced, she still lived happily with her husband and daughter as a family. Seeing the quizzical look on my face, she reassured me that the only reason they had gotten a divorce a mere legal technicality was so they could circumvent the one-home-per-family restriction and qualify to buy a second home in Beijing.

(Hat tip: Ezra)