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The Long-Run Impact of Age Demographics on the U.S. Divorce Rate

John M. Nunley and Joachim Zietz

The American Economist, 2012, vol. 57, issue 1, 65-77

Abstract: We investigate, for the time period 1932 to 2006, the extent to which fluctuations in the fraction of the population in the 20–29 year-old age group can predict movements in the aggregate U.S. divorce rate. We find that fluctuations in our age-composition variable are a very robust predictor of the divorce rate in the long run, with estimated elasticities ranging from 1 to 1.3 depending on the modeling approach. We check the sensitivity of the age-divorce relationship to the inclusion of a number of other explanatory variables advanced in the literature as potential determinants of the divorce rate, including the participation rate of females in higher education as a proxy for female economic independence and macroeconomic variables.

Keywords: divorce; demographics; age; population (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1177/056943451205700106

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Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:57:y:2012:i:1:p:65-77