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Sulewski 1 Jesse Sulewski Professor Lago English 1100-41 5 November 2013 Economic Causes of Divorce Ill tell you

when youre older, they said. It is too complicated for you to understand. My parents were right; I did not understand why my aunt and uncle were getting a divorce. I was ten years old, double digits; I thought I knew everything. I thought that if one person enjoys the presence of another person, than those two people were in love, and they were to get married. On the same note, I believed that couples often split up because they simply did not love their significant other person any longer. However being a young child, I never considered other factors towards divorce. I never thought of the economy and how it could potentially be the cause of my aunt and uncles separation. As the years go by, divorces are more and more common in marriages across the country. Sure, there are some cases where a marriage ends because the couple agrees that the love connection is no longer there. However more often than not, most marriages are torn apart for more complicated reasons. Relationships are highly dependent on the economy of the present time and the divorce rates rise and fall, as does the economy. Relationships are often built and destroyed by events that happen around the world. Any traumatic incident like war, or the death of an important leader figure, often affects the relationships of married couples. Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers present a graph in the writing, Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces. The graph illustrates the divorce rates between 1860 and 2005. According to the graph, in 1945 the divorce rates peaked

Sulewski 2 (Stevenson and Wolfers 28-29). This same year, president Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office (Infoplease). The economy suffered from the death of the president as well as many marriages. Also, the Vietnam War was ending in the 1970s causing the economy to suffer. A hurting economy can cause the job market to crash, causing many people to lose their jobs. A lost job means a loss of money as well. Money can be an issue in many marriages because both parents must contribute to supply for the family. Many married couples often fight about money and if either the husband or wife were to lose their job, the dilemma can greatly affect a relationship because one parent is providing more for the family than the other. The economy of the job market can be a deciding factor of a long-lasting relationship as well. Between the late 1960s and early 1970s the divorce rates were rising. The economy at this time was changing dramatically after the war. Stevenson and Wolfers observe [d]uring this period, family life was potentially altered by many factors: the rise of the womens liberation movement; the sexual revolution; the Supreme Courts granting of marriage as a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution and thus the abolition of laws restricting marriage between races; the elimination in many states of fault-based divorce; and a sharp rise in womens labor force participation (28). All of these changes in the economy can affect a relationship. For example, the rise in womens labor force participation allows more women to have jobs. Therefore, if the woman has a job, this means she is also making her own salary. Finally, if the woman has her own salary, she no longer feels the need to rely on a husband. In the past, it was very common for a female to get married strictly for the benefits of a hard-working husband. Divorce became more common as womens rights grew because the women began to rebel. Women were starting to recognize their own power, and decide that they can survive and make a living without the help of a husband.

Sulewski 3 As the decades evolve, women are becoming more and more independent. Heterogeneous human capital, uncertainty, and the structure of plans: A market process approach to marriage and divorce is an article written by Steven Horwitz and Peter Lewin. This article explains two important dimensions of marriage: market-oriented human capability, and household-oriented human capability (6). Generally speaking, men were known to be better in the market-oriented category. This means, men are typically in charge of having a job and making money for the family. Whereas, females are typically known for being more householdoriented. Females are often better with childcare and house cleaning, for example. With a male and a female that fall under these generic qualities, a healthy marriage is more likely to occur. The problem is: in the 21st century it is more common for women to be a part of the workforce. The authors confirm the gains from marriage that are achieved by sector-specific (home or market) specialization have fallen (Horwitz and Lewin 7). In other words, the work between the husband and wife are not balanced. The relationship becomes more stressful when either the husband or wife is found doing more work. Also, the couple no longer relies on each other, which lowers the potential gains from marriage. Divorce is then more likely to take place because in the longer run, the cost of divorce is much cheaper when the gains from marriage begin to diminish.

The economy today is still currently suffering after the recession. Written in the article The fiscal cliff crisis and the real economic crisis in the United States, Dean Baker states, The economy is still down more than nine million jobs from its trend path, and the unemployment rate is more than three full percentage points above its pre-recession level (67). This quote explains the tragic job market is today and how the rise in unemployment is affecting much more than just the adults without a job. Everyone is affected in some way by the economy. Besides the

Sulewski 4 individual, this problem is also affecting relationships among married couple. Couples are divorcing because the economy is affecting the family income, which causes stress between the relationships. Not only is the married couple affected, but also the children. Watching parents fight all the time is never healthy for a childs development. Many children are mentally and emotionally affected due to a divorce. Divorced parents affect the childrens growth and potentially creates mental or emotion problems for the children later in life. It is up to the government to create a plan to fix the economy. If the economic issue is not addressed, it can only get worse; poverty will become a problem in the United States because of the unemployment rates. Unfortunately, the economy has a domino effect. For example, a bad economy means a bad job market. A troubled job market results in unemployment. Then, unemployment causes difficulties in married couples, which eventually leads to divorce.

If the economy does not recover soon, my future will be impacted as well. My mom is currently unemployed and money is getting tight for the family. Right now my dad is the only one making money for our family and I am concerned that my parents relationship will end due to finance issues. On the other hand, the economy is not the only cause of divorce and my parents love each other so there is definitely a possibility that they will manage to stay together. However as stated above, many things in life have a domino effect, relationships being one of them. The economy acts as the first domino. When the economy drops, odds are something else will fall soon after. My mom does not have a job and I am worried my dad will leave us because of money issues.

Sulewski 5 I am eighteen years old now; I am a young adult. I asked my parents one more time for the real reason as to why my aunt and uncle got a divorce. My mom began to explain how the economy was a major factor in their decision. Of course it wasnt the only reason, but the economy was not the best when the couple divorced. My aunt lost her job, causing their family income to decrease dramatically. They started to fight about the bills and eventually the atmosphere became less and less safe for their children. As a result, they split up. The couple wanted what was best for their children and since the economy was so terrible, the best thing to do was file a divorce.

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Work Cited Stevenson, Betsey, and Justin Wolfers. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces." The Journal of Economic Perspectives 21.2 (2007): 27-52. ProQuest. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. Horwitz, Steven, and Peter Lewin. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Uncertainty, and the Structure of Plans: A Market Process Approach to Marriage and Divorce." Review of Austrian Economics 21.1 (2008): 1-21. ProQuest. Web. 18 Nov. 2013. Baker, Dean. "The Fiscal Cliff Crisis and the Real Economic Crisis in the United States." Intereconomics 48.1 (2013): 67-8. ProQuest. Web. 6 Nov. 2013. "Top News Stories from 1945 | Infoplease.com." Year by Year Infoplease. 20002013 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease. 25 Nov. 2013 <http://www.infoplease.com/year/1945.html>.