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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 & European Society for Population Economics 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. Cesur, Resul & Sabia, Joseph J. & Tekin, Erdal, 2013. "The psychological costs of war: Military combat and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 51-65.
    2. Zhenchao Qian, 1998. "Changes in assortative mating: The impact of age and education, 1970–1890," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(3), pages 279-292, August.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & John H. Johnson, IV, 1998. "Effects of Work-Related Absences on Families: Evidence from the Gulf War," NBER Working Papers 6679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Denise Doiron & Silvia Mendolia, 2012. "The impact of job loss on family dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 367-398, January.
    6. Weiss, Y. & Willis, R.J., 1995. "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," Papers 33-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    7. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S11-S26, Part II, .
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
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