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

Author

Listed:
  • Daniele Vignoli

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

  • Anna Matysiak

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna))

  • Marta Styrc

    (University of Southampton)

  • Valentina Tocchioni

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniele Vignoli & Anna Matysiak & Marta Styrc & Valentina Tocchioni, 2018. "The positive impact of women’s employment on divorce: Context, selection, or anticipation?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 38(37), pages 1059-1110.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:37
    DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2018.38.37
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    Cited by:

    1. Raffaele Guetto & Daniele Vignoli & Alessio Lachi, 2020. "Higher Parental Socioeconomic Status Accelerates Sexual Debut in Italy," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2020_04, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    2. Christina Boll & Simone Schüller, 2021. "Shared Parenting and Parents’ Income Evolution after Separation: New Explorative Insights from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1131, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Giammarco Alderotti & Cecilia Tomassini & Daniele Vignoli, 2022. "‘Silver splits’ in Europe: The role of grandchildren and other correlates," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 46(21), pages 619-652.
    4. Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna & Marcantonio Caltabiano & Alessandra Minello & Daniele Vignoli, 2019. "Catching up! The sexual opinions and behaviour of Italian students (2000-2017)," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2019_02, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    5. Gert Thielemans & Dimitri Mortelmans, 2019. "Female Labour Force Participation After Divorce: How Employment Histories Matter," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 180-193, June.
    6. Giammarco Alderotti & Cecilia Tomassini & Daniele Vignoli, 2020. "Antecedents of 'Grey Divorces' in Europe: The Role of Children and Grandchildren," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2020_08, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    7. Elena Pirani & Daniele Vignoli, 2021. "Childbearing Across Partnerships in Italy: Prevalence, Demographic Correlates, Social Gradient," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2021_15, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    8. Elena Bastianelli & Daniele Vignoli, 2022. "The Gendered Relationship Between (Old and New Forms of) Employment Instability and Union Dissolution," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 41(3), pages 1021-1048, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    marital dissolution; women's employment; Generations and Gender Survey (GGS); selection mechanism; anticipation mechanism; multiprocess model; hazard model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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