Marriage Shocks and Wealth Changes Over the Lifecycle

Published: 2009
Project ID: UM09-19


Divorce rates rapidly increased from the late 1960’s through the 1980’s. Although the majority of divorced individuals eventually remarry, remarriage rates have declined. This research asks, how does changes in household type affect asset accumulation? We use panel data from the Health and Retirement Study and matched Social Security earnings records to (1) analyze how changes in wealth over time are related to marriage, remarriage, divorce and widowhood their timing and duration controlling for lifetime earnings, pensions other individual and household characteristics and (2) to identify the effect of changing marital status at older ages on saving behavior.



Julie Zissimopoulos