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

  • Delia Furtado


  • Miriam Marcén


  • Almudena Sevilla


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

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Demography.

Volume (Year): 50 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 1013-1038

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Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:3:p:1013-1038
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