, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 297-307

Changes in widowhood and divorce and expected durations of marriage

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A new interpretation of mathematical formulas developed by Keyfitz illustrates how the concept of entropy (H) can be applied to the analysis of marriage dissolution. The quantities H (divorce) and H (widowhood) indicate the changes in marriage duration which would result from small, constant changes in duration-specific divorce and widowhood rates, respectively. An examination of values for the United States, Nepal and Colombia illustrates the utility of H (i) in assessing the impact of changes in widowhood and divorce and clarifies the relationship between H and changes in life expectancy.