Family Size and the Risk of Poverty Following Divorce in Cross-National Perspective

Zachary Van Winkle , University of Oxford
Thomas Leopold, University of Amsterdam

With the current study, we present the first comprehensive assessment of how the short-term and medium-term economic consequences of divorce vary by family size. Data come from the Cross-National Equivalent File and hybrid models to estimate changes in women’s household income and risk of poverty up to six years following divorce. Our focus is on how these changes vary by the number of children in the household before divorce. We find that the short-term negative effects of divorce on the risk of poverty increase with family size. In the medium term, these differences vanish. In terms of losses in household incomes, short-term losses are hardly stratified by family size and in the medium term, larger families tend to recover faster. Countries differ substantially in the initial change in economic wellbeing, how it varies by family size, and the rate of recovery.

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 Presented in Session 118. The Economics of Divorce