Should the divorce rate be even higher?


Young people divorce more often, but the age at marriage has risen. If age at marriage had stayed the same we’d probably be seeing even more broken marriages:

This paper documents that changes in assortative mating patterns over the last four decades along the dimensions of age, ethnicity, religion and education are not responsible for the increasing marital instability. Quite the contrary, without the rise in the age at marriage, divorce rates would be considerably higher. Immigration and secularization, and the resulting supply of spouses with diverse ethnicity and religious denominations had no overall effect on divorce rates. Countervailing effects – in line with theoretical predictions – offset each other. The rise in the incidence in divorce is most probably caused by changing social norms.

Source: “Assortative Mating and Divorce: Evidence from Austrian Register Data” from The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State

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