Spectre of Divorce May Promote Saving – and Working

Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing may depend on how the economy is and which economic expert you are speaking to.

But a study suggests that the spectre of divorce may promote saving – and working.

The study analyzes savings patterns in Ireland both before and after divorce was made legal there in 1996.

In comparison to other Europeans, the Irish upped their savings significantly after 1996.

This increase was especially marked among non-religious couples (who were impacted by the new law more than very religious couples) and singles, who were not particularly affected by the legislative changes.

Implication: people don’t save for something positive, but to protect against something negative (loss of partner’s income).

The study also reports that Irish women re-entered the work force in greater numbers after the statutory divorce scheme changed.

Read more in this New York Times piece: Risk of Divorce Leads People to Save More.