Ever find yourself jelly over someone’s massive diamond engagement ring? Covet not my friend, because two dudes from Emory University did an online economic study of 3,000 married individuals (from mTurk) to see if the size of an engagement is a correlated to divorce rates. Seems it is…
Basically, they discovered that for huge, costly weddings women were more likely to divorce. When it came to huge and costly engagement rings though, men were more likely to divorce. “In the sample of men, spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring is associated with a 1.3 times greater hazard of divorce as compared to spending between $500 and $2,000.”
Their conclusion was that the level of debt related stress is correlated to the longevity of a marriage. However, I would like to point out that the report ignored the fact that these findings are tradition related; as in, wedding tradition dictates that women plan and pay for the majority of the wedding, and men do the same for the ring. Perhaps splitting the financial responsibilities of the ring and wedding would lead to a longer marriage? Just saying, sharing fiscal duties might lead to higher fiscal responsibility and limited spending, seems like there’s something to that.
On a positive note, they found that high wedding attendance or lower budget weddings resulted in longer marriages.
So perhaps the moral of the study is pay what you can reasonably afford and don’t take on debt just to get married. The Emory study wanted to debunk the wedding industry‘s long-lasting advertising claims, such as “A diamond is forever,” that spending conspicuously on a wedding or engagement ring will lead to a successful marriage. And they did, but there’s probably more influencing factors related to financial management, wage gap, income, etc. that influences whether or not a marriage is successful.