The economics of divorces and marriages

A happy marriage makes an healthy economy easier

Published in El Pais, 28 Juli 2018.

In 2015 there were 4.3 marriages and 1.9 divorces per thousand people in 28 countries of the European Union. Another statistic says that one in three marriages ends in a divorce. In addition, between 1965 and 2005 the number of people who got married has dropped by 45%. In these last 50 years, more and more people have chosen to live together without a marriage.

When we hear about the divorces of famous people, the only thing we remember is who gets how many millions and who did what. In general, we do not need to worry that Brad Pitt runs out of money and is forced to live on the street. But for 99% of people, a divorce does bring economic consequences. Most do not think about this when they choose to divorce, focusing only on that love is over and that life alone will be much better.

First, there are the economies of scale. Marriages only need one house, one car, one insurance, one washing machine, one connection for basic services, etc. In the case of a divorce, everyone needs one of all this, which is a loss for the economy. Second, it is the organization of the family. Normally, a marriage is organized to maximize family income. One takes care of children and another works, one cooks, and another cleans, etc. After a divorce this organization no longer works and generates permanent tensions.

As a result, divorced people save less and become more stressed. They do not have the same financial efficiency. The rest of the income and expenses of a divorced couple is much less than that of a healthy marriage. The economic benefits of a good marriage are great and with more savings it is easier to reach the dreams and goals that a couple has. So, you can get on this trip to the Miami-Beach, start your own business or get your children to study what they want. Sounds better than spending on two houses, two kitchens, two of all, not?

I know that these words overwhelm the romantic of a marriage, but perhaps it can be said that with a happy marriage it is easier to have a healthy economy. And when a marriage does not need to worry about this, it has more time for romance … or not?


About Arnold Hagens 296 Articles
Arnold Hagens is Economist with strong interest in technology, health and coaching

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