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A re-evaluation of the financial consequences of separation: Individualising concepts and definitions


  • Danièle Meulders
  • Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai


This article studies the impact of partnership dissolution on individual net income. The variations that are measured are those of individual incomes. The analysis uses longitudinal data from the EU-SILC for 18 European countries covering the period 2004-2007. The results show that the individual net income of women and men increases in the event of partnership dissolution. This increase is mostly due to higher public transfers after the dissolution rather than to changes in labour supply in response to the break-up. Estimation of an econometric model to identify those individual characteristics and macro-economic variables that are likely to influence income variation in the event of partnership dissolution shows that individual net income increases with age, the number of children, level of education, labour market participation, the coverage rate of formal childcare systems, the level of per capita social expenditure and that it decreases with the level of income perceived before the break-up as well as when re-partnering has occurred during the year following the break-up. The influence of the welfare state regime partly runs through childcare coverage and social expenditure but remains significant in itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Danièle Meulders & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2010. "A re-evaluation of the financial consequences of separation: Individualising concepts and definitions," DULBEA Working Papers 10-02.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:10-02rs

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    More about this item


    income inequality; individual income; partnership dissolution; labour market participation; social transfers; gender and household economics.;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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