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A study finds that the boom in “express divorces” has fizzled out over the years

The economic recession and the drop in the employment rate among women are associated with a decline in the divorce rate

Conservatism in Spain is also directly associated with a decline in the divorce rate according to the authors of the study

The boom of the so-called “express divorce”, which came into effect in 2005, has been decreasing over the years and in 2010 there were 16.8% fewer divorces than at its beginning. Furthermore, the economic recession is directly related to a decrease in the divorce rate.

These are among the conclusions in the article “Explaining Divorce Rate Determinants”, published by researchers Dolores Jiménez Rubio and Virginia Rosales of the University of Granada (UGR), and Nuno Garoupa of Texas A&M University School of Law in the United States. Their work has been published in the journal Applied Economics Letters.

The article examines what the main determinants of divorce rate in Spain were between 1995 and 2010. According to the results, Rubio points out, “the so-called ‘Express Divorce Law’ caused a significant short-term increase in divorces but the effect has diminished over time”.

The results of the study suggest that variables like the economic recession, the drop in employment among women and the number of foreigners arriving in Spain are also associated with a decrease in the country’s divorce rate. Meanwhile, income level seems to have the opposite effect.

The average divorce rate grew at a pace of between 60% and 85% during the period immediately following the adaptation of the “Express Divorce Law” in 2005. “Nevertheless,” Rosales notes, “this increase in the number of divorces could be explained as an answer to the messy previous legal framework that required a period of separation as a preliminary step before divorce.”


Bibliographical References:

Dolores Jiménez Rubio, Nuno Garoupa and Virginia Rosales (2016): Explaining Divorce Rate Determinants: New Evidence from Spain, Applied Economics Letters, DOI:10.1080/13504851.2015.1064070

Available online at:


Dolores Jiménez Rubio

Department of Applied Economics at the University of Granada

Phone: 958 249 973



Virginia Rosales López

Department of Applied Economics at the University of Granada

Phone: 958 242 883