The positive impact of women's employment on divorce: Context, selection, or anticipation?

Vignoli, Daniele and Matysiak, Anna and Styrc, Marta (2018) The positive impact of women's employment on divorce: Context, selection, or anticipation? Demographic Research, 38 (37). pp. 1059-1110. ISSN 1435-9871

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany (CC BY 3.0 DE).

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BACKGROUND: Empirical findings regarding the impact of women's employment on divorce are mixed. One explanation is that the effects are moderated by the country context. Another is that previous studies have failed to account for unobserved factors that introduce bias into the estimated effects. Studies also rarely consider possible anticipatory employment behavior on the part of women who are thinking of divorce. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to deepen our understanding of the nexus between women's employment and divorce in a comparative perspective. METHODS: We adopt an analytical strategy that allows us to account for selection and anticipation mechanisms. Namely, we estimate marital disruption and employment jointly, and monitor the timing of divorce after employment entry. This approach is implemented using micro-level data for Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. RESULTS: We find that women's employment facilitates marital disruption in Italy and Poland, but not in Germany and Hungary. We also show that selection effects play out differently in different contexts. Finally, we notice traces of anticipatory behavior in Italy. CONTRIBUTION: We conclude that women's employment is less likely to be linked to divorce in countries with easier access to divorce and in countries with more generous financial support for families and single mothers, which in turn makes women less reliant on the market. With this study we hope to encourage future researchers to consider the potentially distorting effects of selection and anticipation strategies in (comparative) divorce research.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This publication is part of the Special Collection on "The New Roles of Women and Men and Implications for Families and Societies", organized by Guest Editors Livia Sz. Oláh, Rudolf Richter, and Irena E. Kotowska. This study was conducted within the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 320116 for the research project "FamiliesAndSocieties" and from the Ministry of Science and High Education in Poland under grant agreement no. 2886/7.PR/2013/2 according to financial rules of cofinancing FP7 projects from partners' financial resources. The research was initiated within the project "New Family Patterns in Italy and Poland: Finding the Determinants of the Change (FAMCHIP)", (825N-WLOCHY/2010/0) financed by the National Science Centre in Poland. Valentina Tocchioni and Daniele Vignoli also acknowledge the financial support provided by the research project "Families and Well-being in Italy: Dynamics and Relationships" [Famiglie e benessere in Italia: Dinamiche e relazioni], financed by the University of Florence (PI: Daniele Vignoli).
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik > Demographie > Wittgenstein Centre
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 15:17
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2020 06:57
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