International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

A Regional Analysis of Divorce Rates
Ferdinand DiFurio, Willis Lewis, Timothy Goode

This paper focuses on determining the impact of regional economies on localized divorce rates in Tennessee. Panel data is used to estimate a spatial fixed effects model for 95 counties in Tennessee over the period 1998 to 2007. Since local economies do not fully account for all living conditions of its residents, particular attention is given to how aggregated, county-level factors in the regional economy, such as unemployment rates, per capita income, number of religious establishments, impact divorce rates in the local economy. After controlling for spatial dependence, the results show that divorce does not rise with job loss, suggesting that economic downturns encourage divorce postponement. However, divorce is negatively correlated with income, adding support to the belief that money, or the lack thereof, is responsible for marital woes. Our measure of religion shows higher divorce rates in counties with greater representation of religious establishments.

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