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Trends in Marital Dissolution by Women's Education in the United States

Author

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  • Steven P. Martin

    (Urban Institute)

Abstract

I use the Survey of Income and Program Participation (N = 16,452) to measure trends in marital dissolution rates for U.S. women by education level. In marriage cohorts from the mid-1970s to the 1990s, marital dissolution rates fell among women with a 4-year college degree or more, but remained high among women with less than a 4-year college degree. This diverging trend began in the mid-1970s and is not explained by recent increases in women's overall educational attainment, nor by recent increases in age at marriage timing and premarital childbearing. These results suggest a growing association between socioeconomic disadvantage and family instability.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven P. Martin, 2006. "Trends in Marital Dissolution by Women's Education in the United States," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(20), pages 537-560, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:15:y:2006:i:20
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol15/20/15-20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jay Teachman, 2002. "Stability across cohorts in divorce risk factors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 331-351, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 1-41, January.
    2. James M. Raymo & Setsuya Fukuda & Miho Iwasawa, 2013. "Educational Differences in Divorce in Japan," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(6), pages 177-206, January.
    3. Jennifer Montez & Erika Sabbath & M. Glymour & Lisa Berkman, 2014. "Trends in Work–Family Context Among U.S. Women by Education Level, 1976 to 2011," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(5), pages 629-648, October.
    4. Philip Cohen, 2014. "Recession and Divorce in the United States, 2008–2011," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(5), pages 615-628, October.
    5. Lucia Coppola & Mariachiara Di Cesare, 2008. "How fertility and union stability interact in shaping new family patterns in Italy and Spain," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(4), pages 117-144, March.
    6. repec:kap:jfamec:v:38:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10834-016-9507-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Frances Goldscheider & Eva Bernhardt & Trude Lappegård, 2015. "The Gender Revolution: A Framework for Understanding Changing Family and Demographic Behavior," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(2), pages 207-239, June.
    8. Tony Fahey, 2014. "Family Size as a Social Leveller for Children in the Second Demographic Transition," Working Papers 201413, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    9. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2012. "The Proximate Determinants of Educational Homogamy: The Effects of First Marriage, Marital Dissolution, Remarriage, and Educational Upgrading," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(2), pages 629-650, May.
    10. Juho Härkönen, 2017. "Diverging destinies in international perspective: Education, single motherhood, and child poverty," LIS Working papers 713, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    11. Janet Chen-Lan Kuo & R. Kelly Raley, 2016. "Diverging Patterns of Union Transition Among Cohabitors by Race/Ethnicity and Education: Trends and Marital Intentions in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(4), pages 921-935, August.
    12. Wan-Chi Chen, 2012. "The Changing Pattern of Educational Differentials in Divorce in the Context of Gender Egalitarianization: The Case of Taiwan," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(6), pages 831-853, December.
    13. Kelly Musick & Katherine Michelmore, 2015. "Change in the Stability of Marital and Cohabiting Unions Following the Birth of a Child," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(5), pages 1463-1485, October.
    14. Jeremy Greenwood, 2011. "Technology And The Changing Family," 2011 Meeting Papers 1420, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters,in: Demography and the Economy, pages 107-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Julia Alamillo, "undated". "Family Structure and Reproduction of Inequality: A Decomposition Approach," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 848d4b9e0bd14c8191ed1277b, Mathematica Policy Research.
    17. Heggeness, Misty L., 2009. "Evidence of shifts in intra-household allocation under exogenous changes in family policy and administrative procedures: The case of school enrollment in Chile," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49450, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    18. Matthijs Kalmijn, 2013. "The Educational Gradient in Marriage: A Comparison of 25 European Countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1499-1520, August.
    19. Hellerstein, Judith K. & Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Zou, Ben, 2013. "Business cycles and divorce: Evidence from microdata," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 68-70.
    20. Richard Lampard, 2013. "Age at marriage and the risk of divorce in England and Wales," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(7), pages 167-202, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; family demography; marital dissolution; social inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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