Women's employment and marital stability: the role of the context
A discussion of the effects of partners' labour force participation on marital stability has been part of the demographic debate for several decades. While theorists generally agree that men's employment has a stabilizing effect on marriage, there is considerable controversy about the effects of women's involvement in the labour market on marital stability. This debate has centred on several models and arguments. The most recent contributions have underlined the role of the context in moderating the relationship in question, and our study aims to contribute to this debate. We use the case of Poland, a country that underwent rapid and profound changes in its economic, institutional, and socio-cultural settings. Using GGS- PL data, we estimated a hazard regression of marital disruption, separately for women and men. The effects of employment status were allowed to vary by calendar time in order to determine how the relationship between women's economic activity and marital stability was affected by the transformation of the labour market; the reassignment of responsibility for an individual's welfare among the state, the family, and the market; the change in institutional support for families; and the liberalisation of the gender roles. Our empirical study showed that, after the onset of the economic transformation, working women became significantly more likely to divorce than women who did not have a job. This finding implies that the economic transformation led to a substantial increase in women's dependence on their partners, and made it much more difficult for non-working women to exit unhappy marriages. This conclusion is further corroborated by our finding that, relative to working women, the disruption risk among women on maternity and parental leave declined over time. As expected, men's employment was found to stabilise marriages both prior to and after 1989. (original abstract)
- Balcerzak-Paradowska B., Chłoń-Domińczak A., Fultz E., Kotowska I.E., Olejniczuk-Merta A., Steinhilber S., Topińska I., Wóycicka I., 2003, Kobiety i mężczyźni w reformach systemu zabezpieczenia społecznego w Polsce, International Labour Organisation, Warsaw.
- Becker G.S., Landes E.M., Michael R.T., 1977, An economic analysis of marital instability, "Journal of Political Economy", 85: 1141-1188.
- Cherlin A., 1979, Work Life and Marital Dissolution, [in:] G. Levinger and O.C. Moles (Eds.), Divorce and Separation. Context, Causes and Consequences Basic Books, New York: 151-166.
- Cherlin A., 2000, Toward a new home socioeconomics of union formation, [in:] L.J. Waite, C. Bachrach, M. Hindin, E. Thomson, A. Thornton (Eds.), The ties that bind - Perspectives on marriage and cohabitation, Aldine De Gruyter, Hawthorne, New York: 126-144.
- Coltrane S., 2000, Research on Household Labor: Modeling and Measuring the Social Embeddedness of Routine Family Work, "Journal of Marriage and Family", 62(4): 1208-1233.
- Cooke L.P., 2006, "Doing" Gender in Context: Household Bargaining and Risk of Divorce in Germany and the United States, "American Journal of Sociology", 112(2): 442-472.
- Matysiak A., 2011, Interdependencies between Fertility and Women's Labour Supply, Springer, Dordrecht.
- Matysiak A. and Mynarska M., 2010, "Women's determination to combine childbearing and paid employment: How can a qualitative approach help us understand quantitative evidence?, ISD Working Paper 7/2010, Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw.
- Matysiak A., Słoczyński T., Baranowska A., 2010, Kobiety i mężczyźni na rynku pracy [Women and men on the labour market], [in:] M. Bukowski (Ed.), Zatrudnienie w Polsce 2008. Praca w cyklu życia. [Employment in Poland 2008. Work over the life cycle], Institute of Structural Research, Warsaw.
- Matysiak A. and Steinmetz S., 2008, Finding their way? Female employment patterns in West Germany, East Germany, and Poland, "European Sociological Review", 24(3): 331-345.
- Milanovic B., 1999, Explaining the increase in inequality during the transition, "Economics of Transition", 7(2): 299-341.
- Mishtal J.Z., 2009, Understanding low fertility in Poland: Demographic consequences of gendered discrimination in employment and post-socialist neoliberal restructuring, "Demographic Research", 21(20): 599-626.
- Moffit R.A., 2000, Female wages, male wages, and the economic model of marriage: The basic evidence., [in:] L.J. Waite, C. Bachrach, M. Hindin, E. Thomson, A. Thornton (Eds.), The ties that bind-Perspectives on marriage and cohabitation, Aldine De Gruyter, Hawthorne, NY: 302-319.
- Muszyńska M., 2007, Structural and cultural determinants of fertility in Europe, Warsaw School of Economics Publishing, Warsaw.
- Oppenheimer V.K., 1997, Women's Employment and the Gain to Marriage: The Specialization and Trading Model, "Annual Review of Sociology", 23: 431-453.
- Orloff A.S., 1993, Gender and the social rights of citizenship: the comparative analysis of gender relations and welfare states, "American Sociological Review", 58: 303-328.
- Parsons T., 1940, An analytical approach to the theory of social stratification, "American Journal of Sociology", 45(6): 841-862.
- Pascall G. and Manning N., 2000, Gender and social policy: comparing welfare states in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, "Journal of European Social Policy", 10(3): 240-266.
- Raz-Yurovich L., 2012, Economic Determinants of Divorce Among Dual-Earner Couples: Jews in Israel, "European Journal of Population/Revue européenne de Démographie", 28: 1-27.
- Ruggles S., 1997, The rise of divorce and separation in the United States, 1880-1990, "Demography", 34(4): 455-466.
- Sayer L.C. and Bianchi S.M., 2000, Women's Economic Independence and the Probability of Divorce A Review and Reexamination, "Journal of Family Issues", 21(7): 906-943.
- Schoen R., Astone N.M., Rothert K., Standish N.J., Kim Y.J., 2002, Women's Employment, Marital Happiness, and Divorce, "Social Forces", 81(2): 643-662.
- Siemieńska R., 1997, Wartości i postawy warunkujące obecność kobiet na rynku pracy (Values and attitudes determining women's labour supply), [in] R. Siemieńska, Wokół problemów zawodowego równouprawnienia kobiet i mężczyzn (On the gender equality in the labour market), Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw.
- Sigle-Rushton W., 2010, Men's unpaid work and divorce: reassessing specialization and trade in British families, "Feminist Economics", 16(2): 1-26.
- Simpson I.H. and England P., 1981, Conjugal Work Roles and Marital Solidarity, "Journal of Family Issues", 2(2): 180-204.
- Stevenson B. and Wolfers J., 2007, Marriage and divorce: Changes and their driving forces, "Journal of Economic Perspectives", 21(2): 27-52.
- Styrc M., 2010, Czynniki wpływające na stabilność pierwszych małżeństw w Polsce, "Studia Demograficzne", 157-158(1-2): 27-60.
- Sztanderska U., 2005, Aktywność zawodowa kobiet w Polsce. Jakie szanse? Jakie rezultaty? [Labour force participation of women in Poland? What opportunities? What outcomes?], Szanse na wzrost dzietności - jaka polityka rodzinna? Blue paper of the Polish Forum for Lisbon Strategy, Gdansk Institute on Market Economics, Gdańsk: 43-63.
- Titkow A., 1995, Kobiety pod presją. Proces kształtowania się tożsamości [Women under Pressure? The Process of Identity Formation], [in:] A. Titkow and H. Domański (Eds.), Co to znaczy być kobietą w Polsce? [What does it mean to be a woman in Poland?], Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Warsaw: 9-39.