Chris Martin/flickr

As Beyoncé once said, if you like it, then you should put a ring on it. But how much should you spend on that ring?

According to a study from two economists that recently made it back onto the top-5 most requested studies in academia, the answer is: really not that much—if you want the marriage to last.

Before we go into the findings, check out the exquisite cover of the study:

Francis, Mialon


Professors Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon surveyed 3,370 people on mTurk, Amazon's TaskRabbit-like "work" marketplace.

Here's what they found: Spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring was associated with an 1.3-times increase in the chances that a man got divorced, compared with spending between $500 and $2,000. (But spending less than $500 was associated with an increase in the odds of divorce among women).


The same trend is found in wedding expenditures. Spending $20,000 on a wedding made it 3.5-times more likely that a woman got divorced compared with spending between $5,000 and $10,000, and 1.6-times more likely overall.

On the other hand, spending $1,000 or less on a wedding significantly reduces the risk of divorce, and actually cuts it in half for men.


The survey uncovered other interesting findings. Differences in age and education between husband and wife, and reporting that one’s partner’s looks were important in the decision to marry, are "both significantly associated with a higher hazard of divorce."

But high household income, regularly attending religious services, having a child with one’s partner, relatively high attendance at the wedding, and going on a honeymoon are all significantly associated with a lower hazard of divorce.


"Thus, the evidence suggests that the types of weddings associated with lower likelihood of divorce are those that are relatively inexpensive but are high in attendance," the co-authors write.

That's a relief.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.