Marital status, gender, and material hardship: Evidence from Israel

Alisa C. Lewin, Haya Stier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is growing evidence that some of the detrimental effects of divorce carry over in the long term. This study compares the long- and short-term experiences of poverty and material hardship, among divorced, married, and remarried men and women. The study draws on Israel's 2013 Social Survey, conducted by Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics. The sample is limited to ever-married Jewish men and women (n = 5618). Arabs and Ultra-orthodox Jews were excluded because divorce is rare in these communities. Our findings reveal the different vulnerabilities men and women face following divorce, especially in the long term. Those long divorced were worse off than those who remained married whereas those who remarried did not differ from those who remained married in terms of poverty and economic hardship. Women were more likely than men to experience poverty and hardship following divorce, but men may also encounter a divorce penalty, as they experience some measures of hardship without falling into poverty. We conclude that measures of hardship emphasize vulnerability, insecurity and exposure to risk, aspects that may become more evident over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Life Course Research
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Divorce
  • Gender
  • Marriage
  • Poverty
  • Remarriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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