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  • Thumbnail for A Silver Lining or the Postponement of the Inevitable? The Impact of Recessions on the Incidence of Divorce
    A Silver Lining or the Postponement of the Inevitable? The Impact of Recessions on the Incidence of Divorce by Houghton, Emily

    During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, popular media reported that tough financial times were strengthening marriages and decreasing the risk of divorce. Several recent studies using vital statistics have found empirical evidence supporting this, labeling the effect the, “cost of divorce perspective.” Using new data on marital history provided by the American Community Survey and census-tract level unemployment, this study further analyzes the relationship between recessions and an individual’s decision to divorce. Results show that unemployment rates do not influence divorce risks, regardless of differences in gender. Moreover, evidence for a hybrid perspective on divorce is found, suggesting that individuals postpone divorce during recessions, but then end their marriages when the health of the economy improves.