Are Career Women Good for Marriage?
We study US divorce rates, which despite the continuing rise in female labor force participation (FLFP), have been falling since the mid-1980s, reversing a two-decade trend. A cross section of U.S. states for the year 2000 displays a negative relationship between the divorce rate and FLFP. We present theory and evidence in support of the view that these recent trends are the product of two distinct economic forces: relative to their non-career counterparts, career women display greater selectivity in the search for marriage partners and greater flexibility in sharing the benefits of a marriage with their partners. Greater selectivity implies that career women will be older when they first marry and that their marriages will be of higher average â€œquality,â€ possibly making them less prone to breakup. Greater flexibility implies that it is easier for two-earner families to re-adjust the intrahousehold allocation to compensate for changes in outside opportunities, making marriages more resistant to â€œshocks.â€ Our evidence shows that both effects may be playing a role in generating the trends the trends.
|Year of publication:||
|Authors:||Neeman, Zvika ; Newman, Andrew F. ; Olivetti, Claudia|
|Institutions:||Department of Economics, Boston University|
|Type of publication:||Book / Working Paper|
Number dp-167 22 pages