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

Author

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  • Liat Raz-Yurovich

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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Liat Raz-Yurovich, 2011. "Economic determinants of divorce among dual-earner couples: Jews in Israel," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2011-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-008
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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jensen, Peter & Smith, Nina, 1990. "Unemployment and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(3), pages 215-229, October.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
    3. Lee Lillard & Linda Waite, 1993. "A joint model of marital childbearing and marital disruption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(4), pages 653-681, November.
    4. William Nilsson, 2008. "Unemployment, Splitting up, and Spousal Income Replacement," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(1), pages 73-106, March.
    5. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Melvin Stephens, 2004. "Job Displacement, Disability, and Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 489-522, April.
    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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Israel; home economics;

    JEL classification:

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

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