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Effects of the Economy on Divorce Rates

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Submitted By jobjohnny
Words 2536
Pages 11
| The Effects of the Economy on Divorce Rates | | |

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I. Introduction
Divorce has become quite common over the last few decades in the United States, as well as in other industrialized countries. It is often discussed as a social problem or phenomenon, with its causes usually related to cultural and structural changes such as increased female labor force participation and legislation which makes divorce easier to obtain. Furthermore, divorce today has become more socially accepted, as individuality has become the dominant value in our capitalist society. Despite the social acceptance of divorce, I think most would agree with me in stating that divorce is not desirable, as it causes emotional, physical and financial strains not only on those directly involved, but on their children and extended families as well.
In this paper, I investigate the relationship between divorce and economic cycles in the United States from 1950 to 2000. My intention is to discover whether and how divorce rates change in periods of economic recession, as compared to periods of economic growth. It is important to look into further trends in divorce rates, as its increase over time may not simply be an issue of social and cultural changes, but rather another one of the effects of the economy on the family unit in the United States.
My hypothesis is that divorce rates will decrease in periods of economic growth, as a husband's increased income has been identified to have a stabilizing effect on marital relationships. This is due largely to the fact that as income grows, so too does standard of living, relieving some of the potential stresses in a marriage. Furthermore, those with high potential earnings can better compete in the marriage market, therefore they are likely to attract more desirable partners, making divorce less likely. I must acknowledge, however, that the…...

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