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Divorce Risk, Wages, and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis of Female Labor Force Participation

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  • Raquel Fernández
  • Joyce C. Wong

Abstract

This paper develops a quantitative life-cycle model to study the increase in married women's labor force participation (LFP). We calibrate the model to match key life-cycle statistics for the 1935 cohort and use it to assess the changed environment faced by the 1955 cohort. We find that a higher divorce probability and changes in wage structure are each able to explain a large proportion of the LFP increase. Higher divorce risk increases LFP not because the latter contributes to higher marital assets or greater labor market experience, however. Instead, it is the result of conflicting spousal preferences towards the adjustment of marital consumption in the face of increased divorce risk.

Suggested Citation

  • Raquel Fernández & Joyce C. Wong, 2014. "Divorce Risk, Wages, and Working Wives: A Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis of Female Labor Force Participation," NBER Working Papers 19869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19869 Note: EFG LS PE POL
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    Cited by:

    1. Doepke, M. & Tertilt, M., 2016. "Families in Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    2. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2017. "Unemployment, Marriage, and Divorce," MPRA Paper 80644, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2016. "Technology and the Changing Family: A Unified Model of Marriage, Divorce, Educational Attainment, and Married Female Labor-Force Participation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, pages 1-41.
    4. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-016-9329-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Emanuela Cardia & Paul Gomme, 2017. "Market Work, Housework and Childcare: A Time Use Approach," Working Papers 15007, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
    6. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2015. "Family Economics Writ Large," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 26, Economie d'Avant Garde.
    7. Nezih Guner & Christopher Rauh & Elizabeth Caucutt, 2017. "Is Marriage for White People? Incarceration and the Racial Marriage Divide," 2017 Meeting Papers 779, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. repec:red:issued:15-177 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:4:p:1346-1434 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Groneck, Max & Schön, Matthias & Wallenius, Johanna, 2016. "You Better Get Married! Marital Status and Intra-Generational Redistribution of Social Security," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145801, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Schneebaum, Alyssa & Rehm, Miriam & Mader, Katharina & Hollan, Katarina, 2016. "The Gender Wealth Gap Across European Countries," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 5175, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    12. Groneck, Max & Wallenius, Johanna, 2017. "It Sucks to Be Single! Marital Status and Redistribution of Social Security," SSE Working Paper Series in Economics 2017:1, Stockholm School of Economics.
    13. Rafael González-Val & Miriam Marcén, 2017. "Divorce and the business cycle: a cross-country analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 879-904, September.
    14. Eva Garcia-Moran & Zoe Kuehn, 2017. "With Strings Attached: Grandparent-Provided Child Care and Female Labor Market Outcomes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 80-98, January.
    15. Rafael González-Val & Miriam Marcén, 2015. "Regional unemployment, marriage, and divorce," Working Papers 2015/38, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    16. Laura Turner & Aloysius Siow & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2014. "Relationship Skills in the Labor and Marriage Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 155, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Eva Garcia-Moran & Zoe Kuehn, 2017. "With Strings Attached: Grandparent-Provided Child Care and Female Labor Market Outcomes," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 80-98, January.
    18. repec:aea:aejmac:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:72-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Xiaodong Fan & Hanming Fang & Simen Markussen, 2015. "Mothers' Employment and Children's Educational Gender Gap," NBER Working Papers 21183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K36 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Family and Personal Law

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