The Economic Consequences of Divorce and Separation for Women in Colombia Compared to Other 6 OECD Countries

Angela Guarin , University of Wisconsin-Madison

Broad agreement exists about the negative economic consequences of union dissolution for women, who bear a disproportionate cost compared to men. However, past research has focused on developed countries and does not differentiate between marriage and cohabitation dissolution. In this paper, I separately examine the economic consequences of divorce and cohabitation dissolution for women in Colombia, a middle-income country, and I compare my results to findings in other six OECD countries. In contrast to the other countries and to prior research, my analysis of three available waves of the Colombian Longitudinal Survey suggests that women who experience both marital and cohabitation dissolution are more advantaged than those who do not, and their economic well-being does not decline post-dissolution, although it does not increase as much as it does for men. I examine potential mechanisms driving my findings and discuss the implications for future research and policy.

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