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http://ssrn.com/abstract=826447
 
 

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Do Divorcing Couples Become Happier By Breaking Up?


Jonathan Gardner


Towers Watson

Andrew J. Oswald


University of Warwick - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

September 2005

IZA Discussion Paper No. 1788

Abstract:     
Divorce is a leap in the dark. This paper investigates whether people who split up actually become happier. Using the British Household Panel Survey, we are able to observe an individual's level of psychological wellbeing in the years before and after divorce. Our results show that divorcing couples reap psychological gains from the dissolution of their marriages. Men and women benefit equally. The paper also studies the effects of bereavement, of having dependent children, and of remarriage. We measure wellbeing using GHQ and life-satisfaction scores.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: divorce, happiness, GHQ, life satisfaction, longitudinal data

JEL Classification: J12, I3

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Date posted: October 18, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Gardner, Jonathan and Oswald, Andrew J., Do Divorcing Couples Become Happier By Breaking Up? (September 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1788. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=826447

Contact Information

Jonathan Gardner (Contact Author)
Towers Watson ( email )
Watson House
London Road
Reigate, Surrey RH2 9PQ
United Kingdom
+44 1737 274097 (Phone)
Andrew J. Oswald
University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )
Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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