Where Did it Go Wrong? Marriage and Divorce in Malawi

39 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2016

See all articles by L. Cherchye

L. Cherchye

KU Leuven; Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Bram de Rock

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Campus Kortrijk (KULAK) - Subfaculty of Economics and Applied Economics

Selma Walther

University of Sussex - Department of Economics

Frederic Vermeulen

Tilburg University - CentER; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

Do individuals divorce for economic reasons? Can we measure the attractiveness of new matches in the marriage market? We answer these questions using a structural model of the household and a rich panel dataset from Malawi. We propose a model of the household with consumption, production and revealed preference conditions for stability on the marriage market. We define marital instability in terms of the consumption gains to remarrying another individual in the same marriage market, and to being single. We find that a 1 percentage point increase in the wife's estimated consumption gains from remarriage is significantly associated with a 0:6 percentage point increase in divorce probability in the next three years. In a multinomial model, higher values of consumption gains from remarriage raise the odds of divorce and remarriage but not of divorce and singleness. These findings provide out-of-sample validation of the structural model and shed new light on the economic determinants of divorce.

Keywords: marriage market, divorce, Malawi, agricultural production, revealed preference

JEL Classification: D11, D12, D13, J12

Suggested Citation

Cherchye, Laurens and de Rock, Bram and Walther, Selma and Vermeulen, Frederic, Where Did it Go Wrong? Marriage and Divorce in Malawi. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9843, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2757953

Laurens Cherchye (Contact Author)

KU Leuven ( email )

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant
Belgium

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Bram De Rock

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Campus Kortrijk (KULAK) - Subfaculty of Economics and Applied Economics ( email )

Etienne Sabbelaan 53
Kortrijk, B-8500
Belgium

Selma Walther

University of Sussex - Department of Economics ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

Frederic Vermeulen

Tilburg University - CentER ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+31 13 466 3196 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://center.uvt.nl/staff/vermeulen/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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