Women’s employment and marital stability: the role of the context
AbstractA discussion of the effects of partners’ labour force participation on marital stability has been part of the demographic debate for several decades. While theorists generally agree that men’s employment has a stabilizing effect on marriage, there is considerable controversy about the effects of women’s involvement in the labour market on marital stability. This debate has centred on several models and arguments. The most recent contributions have underlined the role of the context in moderating the relationship in question, and our study aims to contribute to this debate. We use the case of Poland, a country that underwent rapid and profound changes in its economic, institutional, and socio-cultural settings. Using GGS-PL data, we estimated a hazard regression of marital disruption, separately for women and men. The effects of employment status were allowed to vary by calendar time in order to determine how the relationship between women’s economic activity and marital stability was affected by the transformation of the labour market; the reassignment of responsibility for an individual’s welfare among the state, the family, and the market; the change in institutional support for families; and the liberalisation of the gender roles. Our empirical study showed that, after the onset of the economic transformation, working women became significantly more likely to divorce than women who did not have a job. This finding implies that the economic transformation led to a substantial increase in women’s dependence on their partners, and made it much more difficult for non-working women to exit unhappy marriages. This conclusion is further corroborated by our finding that, relative to working women, the disruption risk among women on maternity and parental leave declined over time. As expected, men’s employment was found to stabilise marriages both prior to and after 1989.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 52.
Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
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More information through EDIRC
marital instability; marital disruption; women’s employment; women’s economic independence;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- I - Health, Education, and Welfare
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-12-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2012-12-15 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2012-12-15 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Anna Matysiak, 2009.
"Is Poland really 'immune' to the spread of cohabitation?,"
MPIDR Working Papers
WP-2009-012, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Anna Matysiak, 2009. "Is Poland really 'immune' to the spread of cohabitation?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(8), pages 215-234, August.
- Monika Mynarska & Anna Matysiak, 2010. "Women's determination to combine childbearing and paid employment: How can a qualitative approach help us understand quantitative evidence?," Working Papers, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics 26, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
- Letizia Mencarini & Daniele Vignoli, 2014. "Women’s employment makes unions more stable, if the male partners contribute to the unpaid household work," Econometrics Working Papers Archive, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti" 2014_06, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
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