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Gone to war: have deployments increased divorces?

  • Sebastian Negrusa

    ()

  • Brighita Negrusa

    ()

  • James Hosek

    ()

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    Owing to the armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, members of the US military have experienced very high rates of deployment overseas. Because military personnel have little to no control over their deployments, the military setting offers a unique opportunity to study the causal effect of major disruptions on marital dissolution. In this paper, we use longitudinal individual-level administrative data from 1999 to 2008 and find that an additional month in deployment increases the divorce hazard of military families, with females being more affected. A standard conceptual framework of marital formation and dissolution predicts a differential effect of these types of shocks depending on the degree to which they are anticipated when a couple gets married. Consistent with this prediction, we find a larger effect for couples married before 9/11, who clearly expected a lower risk of deployment than what they faced post 9/11. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-013-0485-5
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 473-496

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:27:y:2014:i:2:p:473-496
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    1. Weiss, Y. & Willis, R.J., 1995. "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," Papers 33-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    2. Resul Cesur & Joseph J. Sabia & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "The Psychological Costs of War: Military Combat and Mental Health," NBER Working Papers 16927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Zhenchao Qian, 1998. "Changes in assortative mating: The impact of age and education, 1970–1890," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 279-292, August.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist & John H. Johnson & IV, 2000. "Effects of work-related absences on families: Evidence from the Gulf War," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 41-58, October.
    7. William H. Greene, 2009. "Testing Hypotheses About Interaction Terms in Nonlinear Models," Working Papers 09-08, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. Denise Doiron & Silvia Mendolia, 2012. "The impact of job loss on family dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 367-398, January.
    10. David S. Lyle, 2006. "Using Military Deployments and Job Assignments to Estimate the Effect of Parental Absences and Household Relocations on Children's Academic Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 319-350, April.
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