IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/demogr/v50y2013i3p1013-1038.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Delia Furtado

    ()

  • 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
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13524-012-0180-2
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2007. "Division of Household Labor and Cross-Country Differences in Household Formation Rates," Economics Series Working Papers 325, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-544, November.
    3. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    5. Marika Jalovaara, 2003. "The joint effects of marriage partners’ socioeconomic positions on the risk of divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 67-81, February.
    6. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli, 2006. "Fertility: The Role of Culture and Family Experience," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 552-561, 04-05.
    7. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2000. ""Beyond the Melting Pot": Cultural Transmission, Marriage, and the Evolution of Ethnic and Religious Traits," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 955-988.
    8. Steven Ruggles, 1997. "The rise of divorce and separation in the United States, 1880–1990," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(4), pages 455-466, November.
    9. 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.
    10. Evelyn Lehrer & Carmel Chiswick, 1993. "Religion as a determinant of marital stability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(3), pages 385-404, August.
    11. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-454, June.
    12. Alberto Chong & Eliana La Ferrara, 2009. "Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 458-468, 04-05.
    13. Alberto Bisin & Giorgio Topa & Thierry Verdier, 2004. "Religious Intermarriage and Socialization in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(3), pages 615-664, June.
    14. Paola Giuliano, 2007. "Living Arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(5), pages 927-952, September.
    15. Jensen, Peter & Smith, Nina, 1990. "Unemployment and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(3), pages 215-229, October.
    16. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
    17. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    18. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
    19. Barry Chiswick & Christina Houseworth, 2011. "Ethnic intermarriage among immigrants: human capital and assortative mating," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 149-180, June.
    20. Sigve Tjøtta & Kjell Vaage, 2008. "Public transfers and marital dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 419-437, April.
    21. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2000. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 1019-1055.
    22. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 293-329, January.
    23. Delia Furtado & Nikolaos Theodoropoulos, 2011. "Interethnic marriage: a choice between ethnic and educational similarities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1257-1279, October.
    24. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    25. 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 1141-1187, December.
    26. Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demography and the Economy, pages 107-140, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Bradley T. Heim, 2003. "Does Child Support Enforcement Reduce Divorce Rates?: A Reexamination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(4).
    28. Michael Svarer & Mette Verner, 2008. "Do children stabilize relationships in Denmark?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 395-417, April.
    29. Antecol, Heather, 2000. "An examination of cross-country differences in the gender gap in labor force participation rates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 409-426, July.
    30. Rene Boheim & John Ermisch, 2001. "Partnership Dissolution in the UK – the Role of Economic Circumstances," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(2), pages 197-208, May.
    31. Evelyn Lehrer, 2008. "Age at marriage and marital instability: revisiting the Becker–Landes–Michael hypothesis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 463-484, April.
    32. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Arnstein Aassve, 2003. "The role of income in marriage and divorce transitions among young Americans," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(3), pages 455-475, August.
    33. Frans Poppel & Joop Beer, 1993. "Measuring the effect of changing legislation on the frequency of divorce: The Netherlands, 1830–1990," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(3), pages 425-441, August.
    34. Gray, Jeffrey S, 1998. "Divorce-Law Changes, Household Bargaining, and Married Women's Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 628-642, June.
    35. C. Suchindran & Helen Koo, 1992. "Age at last birth and its components," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 29(2), pages 227-245, May.
    36. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
    37. George J. Borjas, 2005. "The Labor-Market Impact of High-Skill Immigration," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 56-60, May.
    38. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
    39. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Kevin Milligan, 2009. "O Sister, Where Art Thou? The Role of Son Preference and Sex Choice: Evidence from Immigrants to Canada," NBER Working Papers 15391, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-469, June.
    41. Lucia A. Nixon, 1997. "The Effect of Child Support Enforcement on Marital Dissolution," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 159-181.
    42. Allen, Douglas W., 1998. "No-fault divorce in Canada: Its cause and effect," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 129-149, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Delia Furtado and Miriam Marcen, 2010. "Does Culture Affect Divorce Decisions? Evidence from European Immigrants in the US," Economics Series Working Papers 495, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.
    3. Miriam Marcén & Marina Morales, 2019. "Live together: does culture matter?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 671-713, June.
    4. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Breaks in the breaks: An analysis of divorce rates in Europe," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 242-255.
    5. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2017. "Remain single or live together: Does culture matter?," MPRA Paper 77623, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bargain, Olivier & González, Libertad & Keane, Claire & Özcan, Berkay, 2012. "Female labor supply and divorce: New evidence from Ireland," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1675-1691.
    7. John Douglas Skåtun, 2017. "Bargaining on your Spouse: Coasean and Non-Coasean Behaviour Within Marriage," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 263-278, June.
    8. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2010. "Unilateral Divorce vs. Child Custody and Child Support in the U.S," MPRA Paper 24695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2014. "Divorce laws and fertility," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 56-70.
    10. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2013. "Assortative mating and divorce: evidence from Austrian register data," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(4), pages 907-929, October.
    11. Alberto Alesina & Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc & Paola Giuliano, 2015. "Family Values And The Regulation Of Labor," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(4), pages 599-630, August.
    12. Rafael González-Val & Miriam Marcén, 2018. "Unemployment, marriage and divorce," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(13), pages 1495-1508, March.
    13. Rafael González-Val & Miriam Marcén, 2017. "Divorce and the business cycle: a cross-country analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 879-904, September.
    14. Lehrer, Evelyn L. & Son, Yeon Jeong, 2017. "Marital Instability in the United States: Trends, Driving Forces, and Implications for Children," IZA Discussion Papers 10503, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Smith, Ian, 2007. "Property division on divorce with inequity aversion," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 111-128.
    16. Elizabeth Horner, 2014. "Continued Pursuit of Happily Ever After: Low Barriers to Divorce and Happiness," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 228-240, June.
    17. Valerio Filoso, 2009. "Divorce And The Option Value Of Marital Search," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 119-149, February.
    18. Bellido, Héctor & Molina, José Alberto & Solaz, Anne & Stancanelli, Elena, 2016. "Do children of the first marriage deter divorce?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 15-31.
    19. Jennifer Klein, 2017. "House Price Shocks and Individual Divorce Risk in the United States," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 628-649, December.
    20. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2014. "Club classification of US divorce rates," MPRA Paper 59440, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Divorce; Culture; Immigrants;
    All these keywords.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:3:p:1013-1038. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.