Lost Jobs, Broken Marriages

Publication type

Conference Paper


Joint Empirical Social Science Seminar


Publication date

May 26, 2004


The objective of this paper is to examine the effect of a spouse's job loss on the probability that his/her marriage ends in divorce. Previous empirical studies on this matter are sparse, and the results inconclusive. Moreover, all previous studies focus on the short-term effects. A unique Swedish data set is used, containing all married couples where one of the spouses was displaced, due to an establishment closure, and an appropriate comparison group. I provide further evidence that the adverse consequences of a job loss cannot be measured in monetary terms alone, and extend the current literature on the impact of job loss (unemployment) on marital instability by also investigate the impact in the long run. The results suggest the existence of a destabilizing impact on marriages from both husbands', and wives', job losses, and both in the short and the longer run.

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