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Does patience matter in marriage stability? Some evidence from Italy

Maria De Paola () and Francesca Gioia ()

Review of Economics of the Household, 2017, vol. 15, issue 2, No 9, 549-577

Abstract: Abstract Time preferences can affect divorce probability by both affecting the quality of the match and affecting the spouses’ reactions to negative shocks. We analyse the relationship between time preferences and divorce decisions using data from the Italian Survey on Household Income and Wealth, which provides a measure of time preferences based on a hypothetical financial situation in which individuals have to decide how much money to give up in order to receive a certain amount of money immediately rather than in one year’s time. By controlling for a number of individual and family characteristics, we find that impatient individuals are more likely to experience divorce. The effect is robust to different specifications of our model and is not affected by reverse causality problems. We also find that the more risk averse individuals are, the less likely they are to experience divorce.

Keywords: Divorce; Time preferences; Impatience; Risk aversion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 D91 I20 J01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-014-9275-4

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