Labor and love: Wives' employment and divorce risk in its socio-political context

Cooke, Lynn Prince, Erola, Jani, Evertsson, Marie, Gahler, Michael, Harkonen, Juho, Hewitt, Belinda, Jalovaara, Marika, Kan, Man-Yee, Lyngstad, Torkild Hovde, Mencarini, Lyngstad., Mignot, Jean-Francois, Mortelmans, Dimitri, Poortman, Anne-Rigt, Schmitt, Christian and Trappe, Heike (2013) Labor and love: Wives' employment and divorce risk in its socio-political context. Social Politics, 20 4: 482-509. doi:10.1093/sp/jxt016

Author Cooke, Lynn Prince
Erola, Jani
Evertsson, Marie
Gahler, Michael
Harkonen, Juho
Hewitt, Belinda
Jalovaara, Marika
Kan, Man-Yee
Lyngstad, Torkild Hovde
Mencarini, Lyngstad.
Mignot, Jean-Francois
Mortelmans, Dimitri
Poortman, Anne-Rigt
Schmitt, Christian
Trappe, Heike
Title Labor and love: Wives' employment and divorce risk in its socio-political context
Journal name Social Politics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1072-4745
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/sp/jxt016
Open Access Status
Volume 20
Issue 4
Start page 482
End page 509
Total pages 28
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 3301 Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
3318 Gender Studies
Abstract 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 effects of a gendered division of labor have ebbed. In the United States with its lack of policy support, a wife's employment still significantly increases the risk of divorce. A wife's employment has no significant effect on divorce risk in Australia, Flanders, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In Finland, Norway, and Sweden, wives' employment predicts a significantly lower risk of divorce when compared with wives who are out of the labor force. The results indicate that greater policy support for equality reduces and may even reverse the relative divorce risk associated with a wife's employment. © 2013
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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