Wednesday, October 12, 2005

IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor:
"This study finds that divorce works. The longitudinal evidence in the paper suggests that marital dissolution eventually produces a rise in psychological wellbeing. Both men and women gain, and do so approximately equally. For those couples who take it, the leap into the dark seems to improve their lives."

Though the results of this study are well documented, I wonder if it's asking the wrong question. For this study to have the import many might ascribe to it, one would have to examine the effects of couples working through their problems as well. Instead of asking if couples that separate are happier than they were when they were having difficulties, it should be asking if they are happier than they would have been. Although these results must inherently be more problematic (they would be comparing different relationships unless time travel is listed in their materials and methods section), it would be interesting to compare the IZA results with a study examining couples who considered divorce but didn't follow through with couples who considered divorce and did.

This isn't to say that divorce can't be justified as much as to say we must be careful when trying to understand and apply this data.

No comments:

Post a Comment