Do earthquakes predict marriage and divorce?

It seems they do in China:

– The results show that when controlling for demographic, economic, and social factors, losses due to earthquakes are found to be associated with increases in both marriage and divorce rates. While the estimated elasticities are low, amounting to 1.92×10−2 and 6.102×10−2, respectively, they are highly significant, suggesting that a doubling of losses due to earthquakes increases marriages by 1.92 percent and divorces by 6.102 percent with a lag of one year. Since the first elasticity is smaller than the second, losses due to earthquakes may influence familial instability. Moreover, these effects increase in the second year but cannot be traced beyond three years after the disaster.

That is from Xu and Deng, and for the pointer I thank John Saunders.


The Fist of God convinces people that life is short and so they must gather their buds while they may?

Possibly. More likely this is not replicable.

It's probably replicable outside of the Fire Zone by looking at man-made tragedies, like a death or serious illness in the family.

Surely every disaster movie makes this clear. Some break up, others hook up.

Do people get divorced in disaster movies? I thought they just got hit by a convenient passing helicopter or the like.

Perhaps an earthquake provides a surplus of eligible partners. Because their former spouses, you know, were turned into pate. So there is a quick re-assortment of people. If the girl you loved from afar in High School is suddenly single, you got to strike while the iron is hot. Or the concrete is still damp. Whatever the appropriate metaphor is.

I guess you can say the earthquake really.... shook things up.

Will the earthquake of Trump's election as president increase marriages or divorces, or both? If contrary to Trump's campaign promise he goes along with Ryan and privatizes Medicare, will that increase marriages or divorces, or both? Now that Trump has been elected president, will that increase his own marriages and divorces? Melania is 46 (Trump is 70), so if Trump serves two terms, she would be 54 or 55 at the end of the second term (he would be 78 or 79), likely increasing his own marriages and divorces. I mean, really, would a stud like Trump, a President Trump no less, stay married to a 55 year old woman of eastern European descent? Not to be prejudiced or anything (of course not), but women of eastern European descent don't age very well, and Trump has made clear he isn't interested in women who aren't beautiful. On the other hand, Trump could stay married to Melania, provided she stays on the other side of that Wall. Maybe that's the point of the Wall: to reduce divorces.

Maybe other readers saw the news story on Facebook that the PC police at Yale forcibly removed an older woman of eastern European descent from the campus on Halloween for wearing a mask that was offensive to women of eastern European descent. It may have been a fake news story, but one never knows the depths to which the PC police will go.

I know more than a few two-party couples who have not been on speaking terms lately.

Meh, I think this is naive, and suspect Xu and Deng have never really lived over deep fault lines. Where is perspective from Larry Summers?

"While the estimated elasticities are low ... they are highly significant"

Isn't this exactly what McCloskey warns about? Should we be surprised that external shocks disturb the equilibrium predictably but minutely?

It's not surprising that the answer to "Did the earth move for you?" would influence romantic coupling.

Truly earth-shattering research.

Isn't Andrew Gelman on Tyler's blogroll? Don't we all know by now that the "findings" of this kind of research are not only dubious, but DOA from simple power calculations?

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