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Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households

Since World War II there has been: (i) a rise in the fraction of time that married households allocate to market work, (ii) an increase in the rate of divorce, and (iii) a decline in the rate of marriage. What can explain this? It is argued here that labor-saving technological progress in the household sector can explain these facts. This makes it more feasible for singles to maintain their own home, and for married women to work. To address this question, a search model of marriage and divorce, which incorporates household production, is developed. An extension looks back at the prewar era.

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Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 8.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision: Apr 2008
Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:8
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  8. repec:fth:simfra:95-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. David Andolfatto & Glenn MacDonald, 1998. "Technology Diffusion and Aggregate Dynamics," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 338-370, April.
  10. Albanesi, Stefania & Olivetti, Claudia, 2007. "Gender Roles and Technological Progress," CEPR Discussion Papers 6352, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  13. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," Research Papers 1819, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  14. Andolfatto, David & Gomme, Paul, 1996. "Unemployment insurance and labor-market activity in Canada," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 47-82, June.
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  19. Lam, David, 1993. "Demographic variables and income inequality," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1015-1059 Elsevier.
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  24. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1987. "Work, Rest, and Search: Unemployment, Turnover, and the Cycle," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 131-48, April.
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  26. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 1997. "Capital-skill complementarity and inequality: a macroeconomic analysis," Staff Report 239, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  27. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  28. Jess Benhabib & Richard Rogerson & Randall Wright, 1991. "Homework in macroeconomics: household production and aggregate fluctuations," Staff Report 135, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  29. Randall Wright & Janine Loberg, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance, Taxes, and Unemployment," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 36-54, February.
  30. Yongsung Chang & Frank Schorfheide, 2003. "Labor shifts and economic fluctuations," Working Paper 03-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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