The economics of marriage and divorce

In his Economic Scene column in today’s New York Times, Tyler Cowen writes up the research agenda of Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, two friends of mine who have penned a series of papers on the economics of marriage and divorce. It’s a fun read.

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One Response to The economics of marriage and divorce

  1. backroom girl says:

    Interesting Andrew. I was taken by the finding that in the US, women with the least resources are the most likely to remarry. As far as I know, this is not the case in Australia.

    The Australian Institute of Family Studies did research some years ago on repartnering after divorce. From memory, it found that, while women from all socio-economic groups had similar rates of relationship formation, those from better-off backgrounds were more likely to repartner in de facto relationships (similar I expect in the US), while lower-SES women were more likely to form non-cohabiting relationships. It was the women in the middle who were most likely to actually remarry.

    I would speculate that one factor behind this result is the relative generosity (at least until recent changes) of our income support safety net for single parents – relative, that is, both to the safety net for low-income couples and to the arrangements that apply in most parts of the US. Do you know if any Australian economists are doing any work in this area?

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