Marriage and divorce: the role of unemployment insurance

Bastian Schulz, Fabian Siuda

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


his paper examines how changes in household-level risk sharing affect the marriage market. We use as our laboratory a German unemployment insurance (UI) reform that tightened means-testing based on the partner’s income. The reduced generosity of UI increased the demand for household-level risk sharing, which lowered the attractiveness of individuals exposed to unemployment risk. Because unemployment risk correlates with non-German nationality, our main finding is that the UI reform led to a decrease in intermarriage. The 2004 expansion of the European Union had a comparable effect on intermarriage for the affected nationalities. Both reforms increased marital stability, which is consistent with better selection by couples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2277–2308
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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