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

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  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. Chen, Yunsi & Hu, Dezhuang, 2021. "Gender norms and marriage satisfaction: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    3. Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2020. "Symbolism matters: The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on partnership stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 44-58.
    4. Amanda Goodall & Margit Osterloh & Mandy Fong, 2020. "Women Shy Away From Competition – How To Overcome It," CREMA Working Paper Series 2020-21, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Janzen, Sarah A. & Magnan, Nicholas & Mullally, Conner C. & Sharma, Shruti, 2021. "Training and Shifting Gender Norms: Evidence from a training intervention in rural Nepal," 2021 Annual Meeting, August 1-3, Austin, Texas 314065, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Gigi Foster & Leslie S. Stratton, 0. "Does female breadwinning make partnerships less healthy or less stable?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 0, pages 1-34.
    7. Olle Folke & Linna Martin & Johanna Rickne & Matz Dahlberg, 2021. "Politicians' neighbourhoods: Where do they live and does it matter?," Discussion Papers 2021-03, Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Economic and Political Research (NICEP).
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Roman Bobilev & Anne Boschini & Jesper Roine, 2020. "Women in the Top of the Income Distribution: What Can We Learn From LIS-Data?," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 63-107, March.
    11. Flèche, Sarah & Lepinteur, Anthony & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2020. "Gender norms, fairness and relative working hours within households," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    12. Egebark, Johan & Ekström, Mathias & Plug, Erik & van Praag, Mirjam, 2021. "Brains or beauty? Causal evidence on the returns to education and attractiveness in the online dating market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    13. Nicolás Oliva & H. Xavier Jara & Pia Rattenhuber, 2021. "What explains the gender gap in top incomes in developing countries?: Evidence from Ecuador," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-109, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. 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.
    15. Gigi Foster & Leslie S. Stratton, 2021. "Does female breadwinning make partnerships less healthy or less stable?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(1), pages 63-96, January.
    16. Berg, Heléne, 2020. "Politicians’ payments in a proportional party system," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    17. Anja Roth & Michaela Slotwinski, 2018. "Gender Norms and Income Misreporting within Households," CESifo Working Paper Series 7298, CESifo.
    18. 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.
    19. Heléne Berg, 2018. "Is It Worth It? On the Returns to Holding Political Office," CESifo Working Paper Series 7406, CESifo.
    20. Davide Cipullo, 2021. "Gender Gaps in Political Careers: Evidence from Competitive Elections," CESifo Working Paper Series 9075, CESifo.
    21. Rodríguez-González, Ana, 2021. "The Impact of the Female Advantage in Education on the Marriage Market," Working Papers 2021:5, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    22. Heléne Berg, 2018. "Politicians' Payments in a Proportional Party System," CESifo Working Paper Series 7278, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Promotions; Marriage; Social norms; Divorce; Career;
    All these keywords.

    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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