Remarriage as a way to overcome the financial consequences of divorce: a test of the economic need hypothesis for European women

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2008


In this article, we investigate to what extent remarriage functions as a strategy to overcome post-divorce financial distress, and whether this varies across welfare states. To this end, we estimate the impact of divorced women's income (changes) on repartnering and vice versa, using longitudinal data from the European Community Household Panel for 11 Member States. Our analyses provide support for the economic need hypothesis. An income decline immediately following divorce increases the likelihood of remarriage for women who had a low income before divorce. Repartnering itself has a positive effect on income, yet this positive effect is not stronger for women who fared economically worse with divorce. Our analyses do not confirm the contextual hypothesis that in countries where the sources of economic independence for women are less readily available, repartnering is a more important route out of poverty than elsewhere. Yet, we do find that in high-welfare countries social welfare reliance delays remarriage more than in low-welfare countries.

Published in

European Sociological Review


Volume: 24 (3):393-407




serial sequence - indexed article



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