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Assortative Mating and Divorce: Evidence from Austrian Register Data

  • Wolfgang Frimmel
  • Martin Halla
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

This paper documents that changes in assortative mating patterns over the last four decades along the dimensions of age, ethnicity, religion and education are not responsible for the increasing marital instability in Austria. Quite the contrary, without the rise in the age at marriage, divorce rates would be considerably higher. Immigration and secularization, and the resulting supply of spouses with diverse ethnicity and religious denominations had no overall effect on divorce rates. Countervailing effects – in line with theoretical predictions – offset each other. The rise in the incidence in divorce is most probably caused by changing social norms.

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Paper provided by The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series NRN working papers with number 2009-18.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:nrnwps:2009_18
Contact details of provider: Postal:
NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State, c/o Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, Altenbergerstr. 69, 4040 Linz

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