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Breaks in the Breaks: A Time-Series Analysis of Divorce Rates

  • González-Val, Rafael
  • Marcén, Miriam

The economic literature examining changes in divorce rates is not conclusive since legal reforms have been found to have permanent, transitory or no effect on divorce rates. This paper studies differences in divorce rates among 16 European countries from 1930 to 2006, by exploiting time-series analysis. We find that 37.5% of the divorce rate’s series are stationary, so that any shock had a transitory effect. However, we also detect structural breaks in the average divorce rate for each country that are endogenously located very close to the year of the divorce law legislation (the same year or some years later).

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 14851.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:14851
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  1. Brinig, Margaret F. & Buckley, F. H., 1998. "No-fault laws and at-fault people," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 325-340, September.
  2. Clark, Simon, 1999. "Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C41-54, March.
  3. Gonzalez, Libertad & Viitanen, Tarja, 2006. "The Effect of Divorce Laws on Divorce Rates in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2023, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
  5. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 267-288.
  6. Allen, Douglas W, 1992. "Marriage and Divorce: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 679-85, June.
  7. Michael, Robert T, 1985. "Consequences of the Rise in Female Labor Force Participation Rates: Questions and Probes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S117-46, January.
  8. Giulio Fella & Paola Manzini & Marco Mariotti, 2002. "Does Divorce Law Matter?," Working Papers 454, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  9. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-72, June.
  10. Perron, Pierre & Vogelsang, Timothy J, 1992. "Nonstationarity and Level Shifts with an Application to Purchasing Power Parity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(3), pages 301-20, July.
  11. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  12. Pesaran, M.H., 2003. "A Simple Panel Unit Root Test in the Presence of Cross Section Dependence," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0346, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  13. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Clemente, Jesus & Montanes, Antonio & Reyes, Marcelo, 1998. "Testing for a unit root in variables with a double change in the mean," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 175-182, May.
  15. Ellman, Ira Mark & Lohr, Sharon L., 1998. "Dissolving the relationship between divorce laws and divorce rates," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 341-359, September.
  16. Levin, Andrew & Lin, Chien-Fu & James Chu, Chia-Shang, 2002. "Unit root tests in panel data: asymptotic and finite-sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 1-24, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-69, June.
  19. Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-44, November.
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