Journal article


Jan Kabatek, David C Ribar



Abstract Are couples with daughters more likely to divorce than couples with sons? Using Dutch registry and US survey data, we show that couples with daughters face higher risks of divorce, but only when daughters are 13- to 18-years-old. These age-specific results run counter to explanations involving overarching, time-invariant preferences for sons and sex-selection into live birth. We propose another explanation that involves relationship strains in families with teenage daughters. In subsample analyses, we find larger child-gender differences in divorce risks for parents whose attitudes towards gender-roles are likely to differ from those of their daughters and partners. W..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course. They thank the editor, three anonymous referees, Gordon Dahl, Bill Evans, Melanie Guldi, Hilary Hoynes, Shelly Lundberg, Enrico Moretti, Phil Morgan, Carol Propper, Adrian Raine, Joe Sabia, Kjell Salvanes, participants at numerous conferences and seminars, and colleagues at the Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research for helpful advice and comments. They also thank Lori Delaney for her help with finding 1985 CPS-MFS codebooks. An early version of this manuscript was circulated under the title "Teenage daughters as a cause of divorce". The authors' findings and views are their own and should not be attributed to the Melbourne Institute, Georgia State University, or the ARC.