IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/16317.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The U.S. Divorce Rate: The 1960s Surge Versus Its Long-Run Determinants

Author

Listed:
  • Nunley, John
  • Zietz, Joachim

Abstract

This study investigates the determinants of the U.S. divorce rate from 1929 to 2006, with particular emphasis on explaining its surge in the mid-1960s. The main finding is that the divorce rate and female labor-force participation, or equivalently female participation in higher education, are endogenous variables that are linked by a negative, long-run relationship. The availability of oral contraception shifted this negative relationship to a new, higher level of divorce rates during the late-1960s and early-1970s. The Vietnam War also contributed to the rise in the divorce rate at that time. The results are very robust to different estimation methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Nunley, John & Zietz, Joachim, 2008. "The U.S. Divorce Rate: The 1960s Surge Versus Its Long-Run Determinants," MPRA Paper 16317, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:16317
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/16317/1/MPRA_paper_16317.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
    2. James A. Dorn, 2003. "Introduction," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 23(1), pages 1-9, Spring/Su.
    3. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
    4. Joshua Goldstein, 1999. "The leveling of divorce in the united states," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(3), pages 409-414, August.
    5. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2012. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199641178.
    6. James D. Hamilton, 2008. "Macroeconomics and ARCH," NBER Working Papers 14151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    8. 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..
    9. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-469, June.
    10. Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-544, November.
    11. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sen, Bisakha, 2000. "How important is anticipation of divorce in married women's labor supply decisions? An intercohort comparison using NLS data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 209-216, May.
    13. 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.
    14. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens, 2004. "Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 489-522, April.
    15. Martha J. Bailey, 2006. "More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320.
    16. Juselius, Katarina, 2006. "The Cointegrated VAR Model: Methodology and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199285679.
    17. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    divorce rate; female labor-force participation; female participation in higher education; oral contraceptives; unilateral divorce laws; Vietnam War;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts

    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:pra:mprapa:16317. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.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 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.

    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.