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Marital disruption and economic well-being: a comparative analysis

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Though there is a considerable literature concerned with the economic consequences of marital breakdown, there is still substantial disagreement in terms of its magnitude. One of the major problems underlying this debate is how economic well-being is defined. We implement several measures of well-being of monetary and multidimensional nature by using data from the European Community Household Panel. Another issue in this literature concerns selection bias of divorcing couples. We tackle this issue by using a propensity score matching technique combined with a difference-in-differences estimator. Results confirm the importance of the definition of well-being. We find a strong gender bias when using monetary measures but a considerably lower bias, and for some countries non-existent, when using non-monetary indices.

Keywords: Deprivation indices; European Community Household Panel; Marital disruption; Poverty; Propensity score matching; Relative income

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Essex, Colchester, UK 2: University of Siena, Italy 3: University of Padua, Italy 4: University of Florence, Italy

Publication date: July 1, 2007


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