Sin city: Why is the divorce rate higher in urban areas?

P.A. Gautier, M. Svarer, C.N. Teulings

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Divorce rates are higher in cities. Based on Danish register data, this paper shows that of the marriages formed in the city, those couples who remain in the city have a 23% higher divorce rate than those who move out. In this paper, we test whether this observation is due to sorting of more stable marriages into rural areas or if there exists a causal effect of living in urban areas on marriage instability. Our identification strategy supplements the timing-of-events approach with an instrumental variable. Our findings suggest that the effect of living in an urban area on the divorce risks drops substantially and loses statistical significance once we address sorting. © 2009 the editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages17
JournalThe Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Marriage
Urban areas
Divorce
Sorting
Causal effect
Instrumental variables
Statistical significance
Rural areas
Economics

Cite this

Gautier, P.A. ; Svarer, M. ; Teulings, C.N. / Sin city: Why is the divorce rate higher in urban areas?. In: The Scandinavian Journal of Economics. 2009 ; Vol. 111, No. 3. pp. 439-456.
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Sin city: Why is the divorce rate higher in urban areas? / Gautier, P.A.; Svarer, M.; Teulings, C.N.

In: The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Vol. 111, No. 3, 2009, p. 439-456.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Svarer, M.

AU - Teulings, C.N.

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AB - Divorce rates are higher in cities. Based on Danish register data, this paper shows that of the marriages formed in the city, those couples who remain in the city have a 23% higher divorce rate than those who move out. In this paper, we test whether this observation is due to sorting of more stable marriages into rural areas or if there exists a causal effect of living in urban areas on marriage instability. Our identification strategy supplements the timing-of-events approach with an instrumental variable. Our findings suggest that the effect of living in an urban area on the divorce risks drops substantially and loses statistical significance once we address sorting. © 2009 the editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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