Why the couple breaks up

by Letizia Mencarini, full professor at Department of social and political sciences
Translated by Alex Foti

What does artificial intelligence offer which goes beyond traditional statistical models, such as regression analysis, to investigate the behavior of households, in particular the factors that cause the separation of couples and dissolution of the conjugal bond?
With Bruno Arpino (University of Florence) and Marco Le Moglie (Catholic University of Milan) we have analyzed data for over 2,000 German married or cohabiting couples, who were followed for a dozen years on average by the annual GSOEP survey (German Socio-Economic Panel), with over 900 ending in separation. By adopting a machine learning approach (specifically, Random Survival Forests) the procedure found on its own the relationship between the various factors contained in the database.


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