IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/8578.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce

Author

Listed:
  • Kerwin Kofi Charles
  • Melvin Stephens Jr.

Abstract

This paper examines how job displacement and physical disability suffered by a spouse affects the probability that the person's marriage ends in divorce. According to the standard economic model of marriage, the arrival of new information about a partner's earning capacity that a negative earnings shock conveys might affect the gains that the couple believes it will receive from remaining married. Shocks may therefore affect divorce probability. Little previous work has explored this issue. The few efforts that exist use no explicit measures of earning shocks. Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this paper finds an increase in the probability of divorce following a spouse's job displacement but no change in divorce probability after a spousal disability. This difference casts doubt on a purely pecuniary motivation for divorce following earnings shocks, since both types of shocks exhibit similar long-run economic consequences. Furthermore, the increase in divorce is found only for layoffs and not for plant closings which suggests that information conveyed about a partner's non-economic suitability as a mate due to a job loss may be more important than the financial losses in precipitating a divorce.

Suggested Citation

  • Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2001. "Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce," NBER Working Papers 8578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8578
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8578.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Bagnoli, Mark, 1993. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 185-202, February.
    2. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-380, October.
    3. Maddala,G. S., 1986. "Limited-Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521338257, May.
    4. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318, Elsevier.
    5. Melvin Stephens, 2002. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 504-537, July.
    6. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
    7. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 293-329, January.
    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 1141-1187, December.
    9. M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), 1997. "Handbook of Population and Family Economics," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    10. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    11. Lee Lillard & Linda Waite, 1993. "A joint model of marital childbearing and marital disruption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(4), pages 653-681, November.
    12. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-469, June.
    13. Bound, John & Schoenbaum, Michael & Stinebrickner, Todd R. & Waidmann, Timothy, 1999. "The dynamic effects of health on the labor force transitions of older workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 179-202, June.
    14. Charles F. Manski & John D. Straub, 2000. "Worker Perceptions of Job Insecurity in the Mid-1990s: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 447-479.
    15. John Bound, 1991. "Self-Reported Versus Objective Measures of Health in Retirement Models," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(1), pages 106-138.
    16. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
    17. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 299-351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Melvin Stephens, 2001. "The Long-Run Consumption Effects Of Earnings Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(1), pages 28-36, February.
    19. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1993. "The Importance of Financial Considerations in Divorce Decisions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 71-86, January.
    20. Steven Stern, 1989. "Measuring the Effect of Disability on Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 361-395.
    21. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-188, January.
    22. Cullen, Julie Berry & Gruber, Jonathan, 2000. "Does Unemployment Insurance Crowd Out Spousal Labor Supply?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(3), pages 546-572, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. John M. Nunley & Alan Seals, 2010. "The Effects of Household Income Volatility on Divorce," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 983-1010, July.
    2. Marcus Eliason, 2012. "Lost jobs, broken marriages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1365-1397, October.
    3. John Douglas Skåtun, 2017. "Bargaining on your Spouse: Coasean and Non-Coasean Behaviour Within Marriage," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 263-278, June.
    4. Quentin Lippmann & Alexandre Georgieff & Claudia Senik, 2020. "Undoing Gender with Institutions: Lessons from the German Division and Reunification," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(629), pages 1445-1470.
    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. Gould, Eric D. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2003. "Waiting for Mr. Right: rising inequality and declining marriage rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 257-281, March.
    7. Sebastian Negrusa & Brighita Negrusa & James Hosek, 2014. "Gone to war: have deployments increased divorces?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 473-496, April.
    8. Lucie Schmidt, 2008. "Risk preferences and the timing of marriage and childbearing," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(2), pages 439-460, May.
    9. Kraft, Kornelius & Neimann, Stefanie, 2009. "Effect of Labor Division between Wife and Husband on the Risk of Divorce: Evidence from German Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4515, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Svarer, Michael, "undated". "Determinants of Divorce in Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2002-19, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    11. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana, 2003. "A consumer theory with competitive markets for work in marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 609-645.
    12. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2012. "You can’t be happier than your wife. Happiness gaps and divorce," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 110-130.
    13. Rania Gihleb & Osnat Lifshitz, . "Dynamic Effects of Educational Assortative Mating on Labor Supply," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Steven F. Koch, 2005. "Love and Addiction: The Importance of Commitment," Working Papers 200516, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
    15. Daniel Avdic & Arizo Karimi, 2018. "Modern Family? Paternity Leave and Marital Stability," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 283-307, October.
    16. Donni, Olivier, 2014. "Over-investment in marriage-specific capital," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 34-43.
    17. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Frederic Vermeulen & Selma Walther, 2021. "Where did it go wrong? Marriage and divorce in Malawi," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(2), pages 505-545, May.
    18. Blanden, Joanne, 2005. "Love and Money: Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Matching on Parental Income," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005272e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    19. Huang, Fali & Jin, Ginger Zhe & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2017. "Love, money, and parental goods: Does parental matchmaking matter?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 224-245.
    20. Elul, Ronel & Silva-Reus, Jose & Volij, Oscar, 2002. "Will you marry me?: A perspective on the gender gap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 549-572, December.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8578. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.