The economic consequences of divorce in six OECD countries

David De Vaus, Matthew Gray, Lixia Qu, David Stanton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This article uses longitudinal data to estimate the shortand medium-Term economic effects of divorce in the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Korea, Germany and Australia during the first decade of the 21st century. Based on the data collected during the 2000s, in all of the countries studied, divorce had, on average, negative effects on the equivalised household incomes of women. However, the extent and duration of the negative effects of divorce differed markedly between countries. In all of the countries, the effects of divorce on the equivalised household income of men were smaller than for women. Although, using the available data, it is not possible to definitely explain the differences between countries, the analysis presented in this article has demonstrated that the average economic effects of divorce, particularly for women, are heavily influenced by the social security system, the labour market, family models and the family law system of each country. While the social security system and institutional arrangements such as child support and spousal maintenance do influence women's post-divorce economic outcomes, what is most important in explaining cross-country differences is women's labour market earnings and the extent to which re-partnering occurs
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)180-199pp.
    JournalAustralian Journal of Social Issues
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


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