Sep 062013
 

Our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast is called “Do Baby Girls Cause Divorce?”

This episode was inspired by a question from a reader named John Dolan-Heitlinger, who wrote the following:

My wife has observed that in marriages where there is a son there is less chance of the husband leaving the marriage.

I wonder if that is true.

Thanks for your consideration.

Enrico MORETTI: I’m Enrico Moretti and I’m a professor of economics at Berkeley.

Stephen J. DUBNER: Okay, very good. So Enrico, a listener wrote to us with a very, very straightforward questions which is this, “In marriages where a baby boy is born, is there less chance of the husband leaving the marriage?” So we can get into the details later, but can you…You know, economists are famous for never giving a yes or no answer to anything. I’m wondering if you can give us a yes or no answer to that question?

MORETTI: Yes, it’s an easy answer. And the answer is yes. Parents who have first-born girls are significantly more likely to be divorced. And so parents who have first-born boys are significantly more likely to stay together.

 

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