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The Changing Pattern of Educational Differentials in Divorce in the Context of Gender Egalitarianization: The Case of Taiwan

  • Wan-Chi Chen


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    Regarding educational differentials in divorce, similar trends have been reported across countries. Some report increasing educational differentials, while others identify an educational crossover pattern. The commonality is that education seems to play a role of stabilizing marriage more than ever before. Using data from the Women’s Marriage, Fertility, and Employment Survey, this study investigates the case of Taiwan by portraying the changing pattern of women’s educational differentials in divorce. There are three major findings. First, among previous marriage cohorts, women with relatively higher levels of formal education are significantly more likely to divorce. Second, the marital-dissolution rates for less educated women are rising faster than the corresponding rates for women with more education. Third, this trend does not stop at the catch-up point and eventually leads to a reversal in the association between education and divorce from positive to negative. In short, such educational differentials in divorce vary dramatically across marriage cohorts. A pattern of educational crossover in divorce has been displayed during the rapid social change in Taiwan. Other than William Goode’s argument raised a half-century ago, the marriage model transformation from specialization toward symmetry in the context of gender egalitarianization has to be taken into consideration in order to obtain a full understanding of the phenomenon. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Population Research and Policy Review.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 6 (December)
    Pages: 831-853

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:poprpr:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:831-853
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    1. Jay Teachman, 2002. "Stability across cohorts in divorce risk factors," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 331-351, May.
    2. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
    3. 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.
    4. Samuel Preston & Alan Richards, 1975. "The influence of women’s work opportunities on marriage rates," Demography, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 209-222, May.
    5. Marika Jalovaara, 2003. "The joint effects of marriage partners’ socioeconomic positions on the risk of divorce," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 67-81, February.
    6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
    7. Rogers, Everett M, 1976. " New Product Adoption and Diffusion," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(4), pages 290-301, March.
    8. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
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