Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Gains to marriage, divorce, and NYC real estate

Maybe the next standard topic of New York conversations will be coupling or decoupling and how it's tied to real estate prices. The Times reported on divorce and capital gains in housing last week.

Apparently couples frequently do see marriage as an economic institution, or at least one that is constrained by financial considerations, among others. When housing prices rise and increase wealth, they facilitate divorce. Gary Becker is quoted as finding this consistent with his vision of marriage as an economic arrangement, with benefits that could be eroded or overshadowed by other events like an unexpected windfall in wealth.