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Does Culture Affect Divorce Decisions? Evidence from European Immigrants in the US

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  • Furtado, Delia

    () (University of Connecticut)

  • Marcén, Miriam

    () (University of Zaragoza)

  • Sevilla, Almudena

    () (University College London)

Abstract

This paper explores the role of culture in determining divorce decisions 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 US 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 GDP. Moreover, specifications with country of origin fixed effects suggest that divorce probabilities are especially low for immigrants from countries with low divorce rates that reside amidst a large number of co-ethnics. 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Furtado, Delia & Marcén, Miriam & Sevilla, Almudena, 2011. "Does Culture Affect Divorce Decisions? Evidence from European Immigrants in the US," IZA Discussion Papers 5960, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5960
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    Cited by:

    1. Chakraborty, Indraneel & Holter, Hans A. & Stepanchuk, Serhiy, 2015. "Marriage stability, taxation and aggregate labor supply in the U.S. vs. Europe," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-20.
    2. Marcén, Miriam & Bellido, Héctor, 2013. "Teen Mothers and Culture," MPRA Paper 44712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Stichnoth, Holger & Yeter, Mustafa, 2013. "Cultural influences on the fertility behaviour of first- and second-generation immigrants in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-023, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Hua Wang & J. Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal, 2018. "Teens and twenties: cultural and preferences differences in the uses of time in Spain," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 51-55, January.
    5. 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.
    6. L. Bottazzi & P. Manasse & S. G. See, 2017. "Better Wed Over the Mixen Than Over The Moor? Break-ups of Inter-Ethnic Marriages In Italy," Working Papers wp1098, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    7. Marcén, Miriam, 2013. "The effect of culture on self-employment," MPRA Paper 47338, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. Rafael González-Val & Miriam Marcén, 2018. "Unemployment, marriage and divorce," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(13), pages 1495-1508, March.
    10. Tarja Viitanen, 2014. "Parental divorce and other determinants of interpersonal trust: Evidence from HILDA panel data," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 17(1), pages 35-53.
    11. Holger STICHNOTH & Mustafa YETER, 2016. "Cultural Influences on the Fertility Behavior of First- and Second-Generation Immigrants," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(3), pages 281-314, September.
    12. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2014. "Club classification of US divorce rates," MPRA Paper 59440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. 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.
    14. Keller, Nicolas & Gathmann, Christina & Monscheuer, Ole, 2015. "Citizenship and the Social Integration of Immigrants: Evidence from Germany's Immigration Reforms," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113184, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    immigrants; culture; divorce;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers

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