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Breaks in the Breaks: A Time-Series Analysis of Divorce Rates

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  • González-Val, Rafael
  • Marcén, Miriam

Abstract

The economic literature examining changes in divorce rates is not conclusive since legal reforms have been found to have permanent, transitory or no effect on divorce rates. This paper studies differences in divorce rates among 16 European countries from 1930 to 2006, by exploiting time-series analysis. We find that 37.5% of the divorce rate’s series are stationary, so that any shock had a transitory effect. However, we also detect structural breaks in the average divorce rate for each country that are endogenously located very close to the year of the divorce law legislation (the same year or some years later).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14851.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14851

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Keywords: Divorce rate; unit root; structural break;

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  1. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  2. Perron, Pierre & Vogelsang, Timothy J, 1992. "Nonstationarity and Level Shifts with an Application to Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 301-20, July.
  3. Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-44, November.
  4. Brinig, Margaret F. & Buckley, F. H., 1998. "No-fault laws and at-fault people," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 325-340, September.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
  6. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  7. Allen, Douglas W, 1992. "Marriage and Divorce: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 679-85, June.
  8. Giulio Fella & Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2004. "Does Divorce Law Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 607-633, 06.
  9. Clemente, Jesus & Montanes, Antonio & Reyes, Marcelo, 1998. "Testing for a unit root in variables with a double change in the mean," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 175-182, May.
  10. Ellman, Ira Mark & Lohr, Sharon L., 1998. "Dissolving the relationship between divorce laws and divorce rates," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 341-359, September.
  11. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  12. Simon Clark, 2004. "Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution," ESE Discussion Papers 32, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  13. González, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja K., 2009. "The effect of divorce laws on divorce rates in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 127-138, February.
  14. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  15. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "A simple panel unit root test in the presence of cross-section dependence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(2), pages 265-312.
  16. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288, 02.
  17. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Michael, Robert T, 1985. "Consequences of the Rise in Female Labor Force Participation Rates: Questions and Probes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S117-46, January.
  19. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-69, June.
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