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Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Where did it go wrong? Marriage and divorce in Malawi
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL https://lirias.kuleuven.be/bitstream/123456789/535656/1/DPS1602.pdf
Do individuals divorce for economic reasons? Can we measure the attractiveness of new
matches in the marriage market? We answer these questions using a structural model of the
household and a rich panel dataset from Malawi. We propose a model of the household with
consumption, production and revealed preference conditions for stability on the marriage market.
We deÖne marital instability in terms of the consumption gains to remarrying another individual
in the same marriage market, and to being single. We Önd that a 1 percentage point increase
in the wifeís estimated consumption gains from remarriage is signiÖcantly associated with a 0:6
percentage point increase in divorce probability in the next three years. In a multinomial model,
higher values of consumption gains from remarriage raise the odds of divorce and remarriage but
not of divorce and singleness. These Öndings provide out-of-sample validation of the structural
model and shed new light on the economic determinants of divorce.

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