Research Paper Working Papers of the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change 99-09
Breaking up- financial surprises and partnership dissolution
01 May 1999
Estimates based on couples with dependent children in the first six years of the British Household Panel Study (1991-97) indicate that changes in a couple's economic circumstances affect the probability that a partnership dissolves. In particular, unexpected improvements in finances substantially reduce the dissolution risk, which strongly supports the importance of new information in decisions concerning partnership dissolution. Measures of a couple's own expectations concerning their financial situation over the coming year have been used in conjunction with realised changes to gauge the impact of unexpected changes. The study also finds that the risk of partnership dissolution increases with the number of children.