Volume 18, Issue 71 (3-2019)                   refahj 2019, 18(71): 237-278 | Back to browse issues page

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majdzadeh N, zeinalzadeh R. Determininge the Relationship between Misery Indices and the Divorce Rate in Iran. refahj. 2019; 18 (71) :237-278
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-3074-en.html
Abstract:   (3652 Views)
Expended Abstract
The family is the fundamental part of all societies and institutions and it is the most important factor in the transfer of culture and civilization. Marriage is the basis of family formation. On the other hand, divorce is a threat to the collapse of the family, and it will cause harm to individuals and society. Many studies have examined various cultural, economic, and social factors affecting the divorce. In the past decade, social and economic developments in the world have faced changes, challenges, issues, and needs, and the family has been increasingly threatened by various and complex causes and factors. When the functions of the family encounter problems, such as biological, social, cognitive, emotional, and economic functions, its members gradually lose a sense of satisfaction and ultimately lead to the collapse through divorce. In Iran, economic, social, and economic issues, including employment of women, issues related to inflation, unemployment, and other issues have a significant impact on the occurrence of divorce. Since the unemployment rate and inflation rate have unfavorable effects on household incomes both in terms of earning and the power of purchase and the cost of households, economic dimensions can affect the instability of families. The linear combination of unemployment rate and inflation rate is known as the misery index. On the other hand, the inflation rate in the society will increase this index, and it also increases pressure on families and dramatically on couples . Several studies have looked into the effects of variables, such as unemployment, inflation rate, urbanization, economic growth, literacy, education and so on. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the misery index on divorce in Iran.
Review of the theoretical literature
According to the Roy’s (2010) view, unemployment changes affected misery by two channels. First, unemployment can affect the non - financial sector of living quality. Rising unemployment on one side may results in personality change, and this could potentially lead to a divorce. Second, an increase in unemployment could affect the excess of living by changing the amount of expectation that a person could reach by marriage to the unmarried period. The financial sector of life depends on the possibilities of missing the couple’s jobs and the wife, which depends on the unemployment of the couple.
The relationship between divorce and unemployment from different angles and from different sociological and psychological theories can be explained. In other words, there are often sociological and psychological theories regarding the explanation of applied divorce. There are four theoretical approaches in relation to how unemployment affects the divorce, and each has different conclusions about their connection.
a) Stress approach, b) Divorce cost approach, c) Hybrid approach, d) Individual competency approach
Inflation can affect divorce with a decrease in income and wealth.
Inflation has affected income by raising interest and reducing the actual value of consumer wealth, as inflation reduces income and wealth and increases the divorce (Schaller, 2013). Although it is expected to increase in the economic boom periods, many studies have shown that the persistent and high inflation rates affect the economic growth and thus the well-being and the power of buying in the society (Eltejaei, 2012).  Therefore, it should be theoretically expected that high and permanent inflation should have negative effects on marriage. Indeed, the rise in inflation affects the cost of living and the expense of household expenditure.
Review of the empirical literature
Roy (2010) studied unemployment changes over the possibility of divorce using data from Australia during the period 1994 - 2007 and concluded that changes in unemployment affect the separation of married people.
Amato and Beatti (2011) studied the relationship between unemployment and divorce by using data from 50 states of Colombia from 1960 to 2005. It has been shown that unemployment has a positive effect on divorce.
Hellerstein (2011) conducted an empirical study of unemployment and divorce rates using 1976 – 2009 data and concluded that there is a negative relationship between divorce and unemployment.
Nasrallahei et al. ( 2013) investigated the analysis of factors affecting the divorce by stressing the economic variables and women’s literacy over divorce in Iran using panel data model during the period of 2002 - 2007 in 28 provinces of Iran. The results of their study showed that there is a direct and significant relationship between unemployment, the literacy rate for women and urbanization.
Fallahei and Deldar (2016) investigated the impact of inflation and unemployment on the divorce rate in the provinces of Iran using panel data model during 2002-2012. They concluded that inflation, unemployment, education level, and urbanization have positive and significant relationship with divorce rate.
 This study examines the effects of factors such as the misery index which is a linear combination of inflation rate and unemployment rate, the divorce in Iran during the period of 1981-2015 using Auto Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) method. The Engle-Granger methods in studies dealing with small samples (the number of low observations) do not have the necessary validity due to the lack of short-run responses between variables, as the resulting estimates are not unbiased and therefore, the hypothesis testing using ordinary test statistics such as “t” is not valid. For this reason, the use of methods which has short-run dynamics and leads to more accurate estimate of the pattern coefficients are considered. Additionally, the short-run model is estimated. Then, the boundaries and statistics of Banerjee, Dolado, and Mestre are investigated. In the case of long-run relationship, the long-run model is estimated. Besides the classical assumptions the normal distribution of the residual distribution of the model, the consistency of the variance heteroskydasitsity, Ramsey reset test, the serial correlation and structural stability were carried out.
Empirical Model and Estimation Results
5.1. Model Specification
In this study, the relationship between the Misery index and the divorce rate in Iran during the period 1980-2015 using the ARDL model were investigated, the model was expressed as follows:
The model described the variables as follows:
LMIS: The log of the misery index (Inflation Rate Unemployment Rate)
LDIV: The log of the number of divorces registered per year.
LURB: The log of urban population
LLIT: The log of literacy rate
LPGNI: The log of real per capita income.
LHCE: The log of household consumption expenditure
εt: error terms
5.2. The Stationary test of Variables
Augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root test was used to test the stationary of variables, and the results obtained from this test are presented in table 1.
Table 1. Results of stationary tests (ADF)
Variables    Condition    t-Stat    Prob    Result
LMIS    Constant and Trend    -1.32    0.8647    I(1)
LMISΔ    Constant and Trend    -5.31    0.0007    
LDIV    Constant and Trend    -4.38    0.0078    I(0)
LURB    Constant     -1.04    0.7230    I(1)
LURBΔ    Constant     -4.89    0.0005    
LLIT    Constant and Trend    -0.42    0.9825    I(1)
LLITΔ    Constant and Trend    -3.93    0.0215    
LPGNI    Constant and Trend    -3.58    0.0483    I(0)
LHCE    Constant     -1.65    0.4430    I(1)
LHCEΔ    Constant     -5.46    0.0001    

As can be seen in table 1, LMIS, LURB, LLIT and LHCE variables are stationary in one difference and LDIV and LPGNI are stationary in level of variable.
5.3. Estimation Results
5.3.1. Short Run results of model
The short run result of estimated model is showed in table 2.
Table 2. Results of  Short Run model
Variables    Coefficient    t-Stat    Prob
LMIS(-1)    0.348    2.72    0.0117
LDIV    -.005    -0.1    0.9189
LDIV(-1)    0.030    0.53    0.6013
LDIV(-2)    0.147    2.69    0.0126
LURB    1.414    2.95    0.0069
LLIT    -0.757    -1.79    0.2949
LPGNI    0.779    4.93    0.0000
LPGNI(-1)    0.174    1.79    0.0859
LHCE    1.250    3.90    0.0007
C    -22.45    -4.24    0.0003
        F    Prob
0.98    0.98    237    0.0000

5.3.2. Diagnostic tests of classical assumptions
The results of the diagnostic tests of classical assumptions are shown in Table 3.

Table 3. Results of Diagnostic tests
Test    t-stat    Prob
Serial Correlation    2.14    0.1408
Ramsey Reset Test    0.59    0.4493
Normality    4.27    0.1182
Heteroskydasitsity    1.36    0.2587

According to the results of diagnostic tests of classical assumptions all of four classic assumptions are confirmed.
5.3.3. Long-run Results of Model
To investigate the existence of long-run relationship, Banerjee, Dolado, and Mestre’s test has been used. The amount of statistics of the table with five independent variables is equivalent to -4.43, whose absolute value is smaller than the Banerjee et al. table statistics.
The results of the long-run estimators are presented in Table 4.
Table 4. Results of  Short Run model  
Variables    Coefficient    t-Stat    Prob
LDIV    0.264    2.02    0.0547
LURB    2.170    4.53    0.0001
LLIT    -1.161    -1.15    0.2576
LPGNI    1.464    6.97    0.0000
LHCE    1.919    4.96    0.0000
C    -34.466    -11.53    0.0000

The results obtained from the estimation of error correction model indicate that the long-run relationship between variables is present and the error correction coefficient is equal to -0.65. In fact, it indicates that the short-run model in each period will adjust 65% of the errors to reach the long-term model.
5.3.4. Model Stability Test
Figure (1) shows the result of CUSUM and figure (2) shows the result of CUSUMQ test in the estimated model, according to this result there is no structural failure, and the estimated coefficients are stable during the research period. Therefore the estimated model does not have any structural changes.
Figure 1. Result of CUSUM Test

Figure 2. Result of CUSUMQ Test

In this research, the effect of the misery index on the divorce in Iran during the period of 1981–2015 was investigated using the ARDL with distributed lags. Based on the results of the classical assumptions, it was observed that in the estimated model distribution of the residuals is the normal model. The identical model is the variance and autocorrelation is not observed between the residuals of the model.
 Also, the Ramsey reset test indicates the correct definition of the model. The CUSUM and CUSUMQ test also showed that the model has structural stability.
The results obtained from estimating the model showed that the misery index in the short-run has no significant effect on the divorce in Iran, but it has a direct and meaningful effect on the divorce in Iran in the long term. Thus, the unemployment rate and the rate of inflation and their linear combination increase the divorce rate in Iran. Therefore, in the Iranian economy by controlling inflation and increasing employment and reducing unemployment, the pressure from the two variables reduces the pressure and stability of the families from the economic dimension.
Real per capita income, urbanization, and expenditure of households in the short and long run also have direct and meaningful effects on divorce in Iran.
Ethical Considerations
This study was extracted from a Masters thesis titled “Determining the Relationship between Misery Indices and the Divorce Rate in Iran” which was authored by Nafiseh Majdzadeh, supervised by Dr. Reza Zeinalzadeh, and approved by Faculty of Literature and Humanities at Isiamic Azad University Kerman Beranch.
Authors’ contributions
All authors contributed in designing, running, and writing all parts of the research.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest
There is no ethical principle to be considered doing this research.
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Type of Study: orginal |
Received: 2018/04/27 | Accepted: 2019/02/12 | Published: 2019/04/15

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