Journal article

Labor and Love: Wives' Employment and Divorce Risk in its Socio-Political Context

Lynn Prince Cooke, Jani Erola, Marie Evertsson, Michael Gahler, Juho Harkonen, Belinda Hewitt, Marika Jalovaara, Man-Yee Kan, Torkild Hovde Lyngstad, Letizia Mencarini, Jean-Francois Mignot, Dimitri Mortelmans, Anne-Rigt Poortman, Christian Schmitt, Heike Trappe



We theorize how social policy affects marital stability vis-à-vis macro and micro effects of wives' employment on divorce risk in 11 Western countries. Correlations among 1990s aggregate data on marriage, divorce, and wives' employment rates, along with attitudinal and social policy information, seem to support specialization hypotheses that divorce rates are higher where more wives are employed and where policies support that employment. This is an ecological fallacy, however, because of the nature of the changes in specific countries. At the micro level, we harmonize national longitudinal data on the most recent cohort of wives marrying for the first time and find that the stabilizing effe..

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