The Spillover Effect of Divorce Rates on Marriage: Findings from Turkey


Abstract: From 2000 onwards, divorce has become prevalent in Turkey like many other developed countries. The rise in divorce rates might not only affect divorced people themselves. In this study, we examine whether divorce rates in the city in which the individual lives has an effect on the person’s satisfaction with marriage using individual level data obtained from Life Satisfaction Survey over the 2003-2017 period. Moreover, we analyze the factors that determine marital satisfaction. Our results are based on 300,000 observations. During the 2003-2017 period, we observe a pronounced drop in the proportion of people who are very satisfied with their marriage. However, average satisfaction did not change considerably. In addition to this, there are significant differences in satisfaction with marriage in different cities. Women have statistically significantly lower satisfaction from their marriage compared to men. The relationship between age and marital satisfaction is U shaped. On average, it makes a dip when the partners are around 55-60 years old then starts to increase in old age. Income, education level and subjective health assessment are positively related to marital satisfaction. We did not find any support for the spill-over effect of divorce on marriage.


Divorce marital satisfaction happiness externality Turkey