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Club classification of US divorce rates

González-Val, Rafael and Marcén, Miriam (2014): Club classification of US divorce rates.

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In this paper, we study the evolution of US divorce rates across states, from 1956 to 1998. By using a cluster algorithm, we identify different groups of states that converge (or diverge) with (or from) each other in the growth of their divorce rates. We find strong support for the club classification. For the overall 1956–1998 period, we obtain evidence of divergence from the common growth component, but when we split the sample, a different pattern is observed. In the pre-unilateral divorce reform period (1956–1972), we find that most of the states had converging divorce rates within several convergence clubs, while in the post-reform period (1973–1998) an intense divergent process took place in divorce rates, across states, within different divergence clubs.

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