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Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States

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  • Delia Furtado

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  • Miriam Marcén

    ()

  • Almudena Sevilla

    ()

Abstract

This article explores the role of culture in determining divorce by examining country-of-origin differences in divorce rates of immigrants in the United States. Because childhood-arriving immigrants are all exposed to a common set of U.S. laws and institutions, we interpret relationships between their divorce tendencies and home-country divorce rates as evidence of the effect of culture. Our results are robust to controlling for several home-country variables, including average church attendance and gross domestic product (GDP). Moreover, specifications with country-of-origin fixed effects suggest that immigrants from countries with low divorce rates are especially less likely to be divorced if they reside among a large number of coethnics. Supplemental analyses indicate that divorce culture has a stronger impact on the divorce decisions of females than of males, pointing to a potentially gendered nature of divorce taboos. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:3:p:1013-1038
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0180-2
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