In the United States, wealth ier couples have lower divorce risk. Wealth may stabilize marriage through its material value, especially by easing financial stress, or by providing symbolic resources, especially signaling that couples meet normative financial standards for marriage. We first show that the negative association between wealth and divorce holds net of a rich set of con trols. All else being equal, hav ing $40,000 in wealth rather than $0 is associated with as big a decline in average predicted divorce risk as having no nonmarital births versus at least one. Second, we show that the negative association between wealth and divorce risk is steepest at low positive wealth levels. Net of covariates, having $40,000 in wealth rather than $0 is associated with as big a decline in average predicted divorce risk as having $400,000 rather than $40,000. Third, we consider evidence for the symbolic perspective, which emphasizes the stabilizing role of owning visible physical assets, and the material per spective, which suggests unsecured debt heightens divorce risk. Consistent with the symbolic perspective, we find that with net worth held constant, ownership of homes and vehicles is negatively associated with divorce risk. However, more research is needed to fully adjudicate between the symbolic and material perspectives.
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