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Unemployment and Marital Breakdown: The Spanish Case


  • González-Val, Rafael
  • Marcén, Miriam


This paper explores the relationship between a job loss and marital breakdown using Spanish panel data. The Great Recession in Spain has had severe consequences, representing an interesting framework to analyse the relationship between job loss and marital breakdown. Not only do we study whether being unemployed is associated with marital breakdown but, also, we examine the effect of job losses. In contrast with other papers examining this issue for other countries, results reveal that in Spain it is the working status of women which plays a role in the marital break-up decision. Results suggest that the probability of marital breakdown decreases when women are non-working. The same is observed when we consider a change in the working status of women from employed to unemployed and from employed to inactive. For men, only the change from employed to inactive appears to be negatively related to the probability of marital breakdown.

Suggested Citation

  • González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2018. "Unemployment and Marital Breakdown: The Spanish Case," GLO Discussion Paper Series 220, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:220

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bellido, Héctor & Molina, José Alberto & Solaz, Anne & Stancanelli, Elena, 2016. "Do children of the first marriage deter divorce?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 15-31.
    2. Jensen, Peter & Smith, Nina, 1990. "Unemployment and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(3), pages 215-229, October.
    3. 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.
    4. Kraft, Kornelius, 2001. "Unemployment and the Separation of Married Couples," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 67-87.
    5. Jessamyn Schaller, 2013. "For richer, if not for poorer? Marriage and divorce over the business cycle," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1007-1033, July.
    6. Joaquín Andaluz & Miriam Marcén & José Alberto Molina, 2017. "The Effects of Inter-Generational Transfers on the Marital Surplus," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(3), pages 320-338, June.
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    More about this item


    Marital breakdown; unemployment; job loss; inactivity;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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