Teenage Daughters as a Cause of Divorce

87 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Jan Kabatek

Jan Kabatek

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

David Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

Evidence from the U.S. that couples with daughters are more likely to divorce than couples with sons has not been found for other Western countries. Using 1995–2015 Dutch marriage registry data, we show that daughters are associated with higher divorce risks, but only when they are 13 to 18 years old. There are no detectable gender differences before or after those ages. These age-specific findings are at odds with son-preference and selection explanations for differences in divorce risks. Instead, the findings point to explanations which involve family relationship dynamics associated with teenage sons and daughters. We find supporting evidence of relationship explanations in supplemental analyses of Dutch survey data. We also find that teenage daughters are associated with higher divorce in the U.S. in analyses of the Current Population Survey Marriage and Fertility Supplements.

Keywords: marriage, divorce, gender, son preference, Netherlands, registry data

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J16

Suggested Citation

Kabatek, Jan and Ribar, David C., Teenage Daughters as a Cause of Divorce. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11046. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3045743

Jan Kabatek (Contact Author)

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
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David C. Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Washington, DC 20052 20052
United States
202-994-7608 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

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