Does family size matter for poverty risk after divorce?

New DIAL Working paper from Zachary Van Winkle and Thomas Leopold

Equal Lives researchers Zachary Van Winkle and Thomas Leopold have used data from the US (PSID) to estimate changes in women’s poverty risk up to six years following divorce in relation to the number of children in the household in the year of divorce.

Their findings, published as part of the DIAL Working Paper series, show that the short-term negative effects of divorce on the risk of poverty increase with family size, but that those differences disappear in the medium term.

The researchers go on to compare their findings with a number of other countries using a range of Panel studies including: Australia (HILDA), Germany (GSOEP), Switzerland (SHP), and the UK (BHPS).

Similar trends are found in all study countries, although family size differences are larger in Germany and the US than in Australia, Switzerland, and the UK.

The researchers say their findings suggest that the presence and number of children increase women’s poverty risk, but only temporarily.