Couples who spend the most on their engagement rings are most likely to end up divorced, according to a new report by two economics professors at Atlanta’s Emory University. Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon’s study of 3000 adults in the US found that men who spent US$2000-$4000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to get divorced than men who spent US$500-$2000.
In their ‘A Diamond is Forever’ and Other Fairy Tales: The Relationship between Wedding Expenses and Marriage Duration report, Francis and Mialon found that “marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony”.
They said that the wedding industry has consistently sought to link wedding spending with long-lasting marriages but this had never been statistically evaluated before.
“Overall, we find little evidence that expensive weddings and the duration of marriages are positively related. On the contrary we find evidence that relatively high spending on the engagement ring is inversely associated with marriage duration… Relatively high spending on the wedding is inversely associated with marriage duration… and relatively low spending on the wedding is positively associated with duration…”
The academics did however find that men who spent less than US$500 on a ring also had higher divorce rates and men who spent more than US$8000 had lower divorce rates.
The readily admit that this is “consistent with the relationship between wedding expenses and marriage duration posited by wedding industry advertising” but stress this finding doesn’t apply in “the more popular middle price range”.