The effect of unemployment on couples separating in Germany and the UK

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: CC BY 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_EAC9DFE18DEE
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
The effect of unemployment on couples separating in Germany and the UK
Journal
Journal of Marriage and Family
Author(s)
Di Nallo Alessandro, Lipps Oliver, Oesch Daniel, Voorpostel Marieke
ISSN
0022-2445
1741-3737
Publication state
Published
Issued date
02/10/2021
Language
english
Abstract
Objective: This article examines how unemployment affects the separation risk of heterosexual co-residing couples, depending on couples’ household income and whether men or women become unemployed.
Background: Unemployment may decrease the separation risk as a drop in resources makes separation more costly – or it may increase the separation risk if unemployment creates stress and reduces the quality of couple relations. Moreover, unemployment may be more detrimental for couples if men rather than women, or low-earners rather than high-earners, become unemployed
Method: This article adopts a couple perspective and assesses heterogeneous effects of unemployment on separation based on large household panels from Germany and the UK using discrete-time event history models.
Results: For both countries, results show that the annual separation rate almost doubles after an unemployment spell: It increases from 0.9 to 1.6 percent per year. This effect does not vary when men or women lose their job. The separation risk after unemployment is somewhat higher for low-income couples than high-income couples in the UK, but overall differences are small.
Conclusion: Findings show that unemployment does not strengthen unions, but makes them more vulnerable – regardless of which partner becomes unemployed and regardless of a household’s economic resources.
Keywords
couples, divorce, unemployment, longitudinal research, work
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Funding(s)
Swiss National Science Foundation
Create date
13/10/2021 13:10
Last modification date
14/10/2021 7:13
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