Booms, Busts, and Divorce
Judith K. Hellerstein and Melinda Sandler Morrill ,
( 11 )
The BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy

For almost a century, anecdotes have suggested that divorce rates decline during recessions. However, until very recently there has been surprisingly little formal empirical evidence on whether such a link exists, let alone its magnitude if it does. Moreover, the anticipated direction of the effect is ambiguous theoretically. Although previous studies have concluded that individual job loss destabilizes marriages, macroeconomic conditions may affect divorce probabilities even for those not directly experiencing a job shock.

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