Not Your Lucky Day: Romantically and Numerically Special Wedding Date Divorce Risks

41 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016

See all articles by Jan Kabatek

Jan Kabatek

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research; IZA; Netspar

David C. Ribar

University of Melbourne

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 27, 2016

Abstract

Characteristics of couples on or about their wedding day and characteristics of weddings have been shown to predict marital outcomes. Little is known, however, about how the dates of the weddings predict marriage durability. Using Dutch marriage and divorce registries from 1999-2013, this study compares the durations of marriages that began on Valentine’s Day and numerically special days (dates with the same or sequential number values, e.g., 9.9.99, 1.2.03) with marriages on other dates. In the Netherlands, the incidence of weddings was 137-509% higher on special dates than ordinary dates, on an adjusted basis, and the hazard odds of divorce for special-date marriages were 18-36% higher. Sorting on couples’ observable characteristics accounts for part of this increase, but even after controlling for these characteristics, special-date marriages were more vulnerable, with 11-18% higher divorce odds compared to ordinary dates. This relation is even stronger for couples who have not married before.

Keywords: Marriage, divorce, Valentine’s Day, commitment, weddings

JEL Classification: J1

Suggested Citation

Kabatek, Jan and Ribar, David C., Not Your Lucky Day: Romantically and Numerically Special Wedding Date Divorce Risks (September 27, 2016). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 28/16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2844057 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2844057

Jan Kabatek

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research ( email )

Level 5, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street
Parkville, Victoria 3010
Australia

IZA ( email )

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

David C. Ribar (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

+61 3 8344 2794 (Phone)

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