Household indebtedness and separation in Britain: evidence from the Families and Children Survey

Bridges, Sarah and Disney, Richard (2012) Household indebtedness and separation in Britain: evidence from the Families and Children Survey. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 24 (1). pp. 24-38. ISSN 1358-8184

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Abstract

Financial hardship is likely to have adverse effects on the well-being of families, especially considering the recent global economic situation. This article examines the effect of household financial indebtedness on the incidence of partnership dissolution using the Families and Children survey for the period 1999 to 2008 in the United Kingdom. It uses detailed data on household finances to provide a more robust statistical analysis of the relationship and to avoid the potential simultaneity of financial and economic models of divorce and separation. However, there were no simple associations between indebtedness and partnership dissolution. Those in more stable partnerships were more likely to acquire credit and thereby have higher debts. However, poorer and younger families could still obtain credit, but at a higher price. Overall, it appeared that arrears on debt, rather than debt levels, were associated with partnership dissolution. This supports the idea that it is sudden shocks to household finances, such as unemployment, that were the greatest cause of dissolution.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: REF
Keywords: debt; divorce; families; outcomes
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2013 09:29
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2013 09:29
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/45179
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