Female Earnings And Divorce Rates:Some Australian Evidence
The purpose of this paper is to examine whether female earnings have influenced divorce rates in Australia, using state-level data for the past four decades. Following a recent study by Ressler and Waters (2000), which concludes from comparable US data that female earnings and divorce rates may be jointly endogenous, initial testing is performed to identify whether female earnings can be treated as exogenous. A Hausman specification error test finds no evidence of a simultaneous relationship in the Australian data, in contrast to the findings of Ressler and Waters. The test result supports the hypothesis that other underlying factors affect female earnings, of which higher divorce rates are merely another symptom. A divorce rate equation is estimated. In accordance with much of the literature, the rise in female earnings over the past four decades is found to have increased Australian divorce rates.
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