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Economic determinants of divorce among dual-earner couples: Jews in Israel

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  • Liat Raz-Yurovich

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    How relevant are the available theoretical perspectives on marriage dissolution for understanding modern family forms? By employing a unique set of longitudinal register-based data for the Jewish population in Israel, this study seeks to find out which of the major theoretical perspectives on economic determinants of divorce best explains the transition to divorce among dual-earner couples. Our findings appear to support theories that assert asymmetry and power relations between the spouses. The women's economic independence hypothesis is not confirmed by our results, which indicate that the wife’s earnings do not affect divorce risk. In line with theories of income pooling, higher shared salaries are found to increase marital stability. Nonetheless, our results demonstrate that the basic assumption of symmetry between the spouses in these theories does not hold. Although employment stability for both spouses appears to reduce divorce risk, only the husband’s salary is shown to negatively affect the odds of divorce, and only the wife’s working hours and sector of employment are found to positively affect marriage instability. Moreover, couples in which the wife earns as much as or more than the husband are found to have the highest divorce risk.

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    File URL: http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s10680-012-9256-3
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2011-008.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: May 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-008

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    Keywords: Israel; home economics;

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    1. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1994. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption," Papers 94-16, RAND - Reprint Series.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and divorce: changes and their driving forces," Working Paper Series 2007-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Jensen, Peter & Smith, Nina, 1990. "Unemployment and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 215-29, October.
    4. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens Jr., 2001. "Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce," NBER Working Papers 8578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Nilsson, William, 2005. "Unemployment, Splitting Up and Spousal Income Replacement," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 651, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    6. Martin Dribe & Maria Stanfors, 2010. "Family life in power couples," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(30), pages 847-878, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Anna Matysiak & Daniele Vignoli, 2011. "Different women’s employment and fertility behaviours in similar institutional settings: Evidence from Italy and Poland," Working Papers 41, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.

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