Monday, December 8, 2008

Divorce risk calculator--try it!

Seems as though it would be tough to assess a couple's risk of divorce. Imagine the data you would have to collect--vast troves on their backgrounds, extended interviews with the parties involved, careful observation in the home.

What would it take, exactly, to assess the risks?

According to economics Betsey Stevenson--not much. Go to her divorce calculator, and fill in your gender, when you married and how old you were, your education level, and how long you've been married. And it will tell you your risk of divorce.

"The point is," says her significant other, the Freakonomics blogger Justin Wolfers, "that factors like age at first marriage and education tell us a lot about divorce risk." He adds, however, that if you're single and contemplating marriage, the stats won't help you. "These divorce risks are useful as statistical forecasts (even if they can’t answer the “what if” question) of how divorce risks change if you delay your marriage."

I guess we're not as subtle and complicated as we think we are...

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