NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

For Better or for Worse, But How About a Recession?

Jeremy Arkes, Yu-Chu Shen

NBER Working Paper No. 16525
Issued in November 2010
NBER Program(s):   LS

In light of the current economic crisis, we estimate hazard models of divorce to determine how state and national unemployment rates affect the likelihood of divorce. With 89,340 observations over the 1978-2006 period for 7633 couples from the 1979 NLSY, we find mixed evidence on whether increases in the unemployment rate lead to overall increases in the likelihood of divorce, which would suggest countercyclical divorce probabilities. However, further analysis reveals that the weak evidence is due to the weak economy increasing the risk of divorce only for couples in years 6 to 10 of marriage. For couples in years 1 to 5 and couples married longer than 10 years, there is no evidence of a pattern between the strength of the economy and divorce probabilities. The estimates are generally stronger in magnitude when using national instead of state unemployment rates.

download in pdf format
   (245 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (245 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16525

Published: Arkes, J. and Shen Y. 2013. For Better or for Worse, but What About a Recession? Contemporary Economic Policy, 32(2): 275-287.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Hurd and Rohwedder w16407 Effects of the Financial Crisis and Great Recession on American Households
Herrmann and Rockoff w16524 Worker Absence and Productivity: Evidence from Teaching
Isen and Stevenson w15725 Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility
Carrell, Hoekstra, and West w16518 Is Poor Fitness Contagious? Evidence from Randomly Assigned Friends
Brander, Du, and Hellmann w16521 The Effects of Government-Sponsored Venture Capital: International Evidence
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us