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Marital instability and female labor supply

Özcan, Berkay ORCID: 0000-0003-2255-9406 and Breen, Richard (2012) Marital instability and female labor supply. Annual Review of Sociology, 38. pp. 463-481. ISSN 0360-0572

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Identification Number: 10.1146/annurev-soc-071811-145457


We review the relationship between female labor supply and marital instability. Traditionally, the sociological literature has focused on the impact of female labor supply on the likelihood of divorce with specific reference to the independence hypothesis. However, recent studies in sociology and economics provide more consistent evidence that the direction of causality may be the other way around. Women might increase their labor supply in the anticipation of divorce. We review the methodological developments in measuring economic independence and the recent evidence on its impact on divorce. Then we turn our attention to the alternative literature on the impact of divorce on female labor supply. We outline the theoretical arguments put forward by this literature, discuss the methodological issues in establishing causality, summarize the findings, and suggest avenues of further research.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Annual Reviews
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 15 May 2012 09:10
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2024 04:42

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