Demographic Traits of Couples Who Increase Divorce Risk After the Abolishment of Mandatory Legal Separation

Peter Fallesen , Rockwool Foundation

We study how divorce behavior in Denmark changed following the repeal of mandatory separation periods for uncontested divorced. Using monthly divorce rates from 2007-2018 (T=144) together with an interrupted time series design, we estimate the size and type of the policy impact. We then use a kappa-weighting scheme to calculate average characteristics of couples who would have remained together absent the repeal. We estimate the impact of the reform and identify the average characteristics of couples who the reform caused to divorce. After an initial spike in the divorce rate driven by couples divorcing earlier, the divorce rate settled at a 9 percent higher level compared to pre-reform. Couples who divorced because of the reform had been married for fewer years, married younger, were more likely to be ethnic Danish, and have high school as highest level of education.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity