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All the Single Ladies: Job Promotions and the Durability of Marriage

Author

Listed:
  • Folke, Olle

    () (Uppsala University)

  • Rickne, Johanna

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

This paper addresses women's under-representation in top jobs in organizational hierarchies. We show that promotions to top jobs dramatically increase women's probability of divorce, but do not affect men's marriages. This effect is causally estimated for top jobs in the political sector, where close electoral results deliver exogenous variation in promotions across job candidates. Descriptive evidence from job promotions to the position of CEO shows that private sector promotions result in the same gender inequality in the risk of divorce. A description of male and female job candidates' household formations sheds some light on the mechanism behind this result. For most male candidates for top jobs, their promotion aligns with the gender-specialized division of paid and unpaid labor in their households. Many female candidates for top jobs live in dual-earner households and are married to older husbands who take a small share of parental leave. Divorce among women in top jobs occurs more often in couples with a larger age gap and a less equal division of leave, and in households in which her promotion shifts the division of earnings (further) away from the norm of male dominance. No divorce effect is found in couples that are more gender-equal in terms of having a smaller age gap and a more equal division of parental leave. We argue that norms and behavior in the marriage market hinder the closure of the gender gap in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Folke, Olle & Rickne, Johanna, 2016. "All the Single Ladies: Job Promotions and the Durability of Marriage," Working Paper Series 1146, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1146
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    File URL: http://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp1146.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jon H. Fiva & Olle Folke & Rune J. Sørensen, 2013. "The Power of Parties," CESifo Working Paper Series 4119, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Berg, Helene, 2018. "Politicians’ Payments in a Proportional Party System," Research Papers in Economics 2018:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    2. Leonardo Bursztyn & Thomas Fujiwara & Amanda Pallais, 2017. "'Acting Wife': Marriage Market Incentives and Labor Market Investments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(11), pages 3288-3319, November.
    3. repec:eee:labeco:v:52:y:2018:i:c:p:132-146 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anja Roth & Michaela Slotwinski, 2018. "Gender Norms and Income Misreporting within Households," CESifo Working Paper Series 7298, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Haaland, Venke Furre & Rege, Mari & Telle, Kjetil & Votruba, Mark, 2018. "The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 132-146.
    6. Zhang, Peilu & Zhang, Yinjunjie & Palma, Marco, 2018. "Social Norms and Competitiveness: My Willingness to Compete Depends on Who I am (supposed to be)," MPRA Paper 89727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Berg, Heléne, 2018. "Is It Worth It? On the Returns to Holding Political Office," Research Papers in Economics 2018:5, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    8. Heléne Berg, 2018. "Is It Worth It? On the Returns to Holding Political Office," CESifo Working Paper Series 7406, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Heléne Berg, 2018. "Politicians' Payments in a Proportional Party System," CESifo Working Paper Series 7278, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Promotions; Marriage; Social norms; Divorce; Career;

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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