Online Seminar Talk

Gender Norms, Time Use, and Partnership Dissolution Following Involuntary Job Loss

Rishabh Tyagi
Online Seminar Talk, May 17, 2022

Rishabh Tyagi from the Research Group: Labor Demography at the MPIDR gives an Online Seminar Talk.


We use propensity score matching to analyze the treatment effects of involuntary job loss of one partner on the likelihood of their divorce or separation (union dissolution) in the next three years and their time-use patterns in home production and leisure activities. We observe these outcomes through the lens of male-breadwinner norms, as they are a key driver of the association between men's unemployment and the risk of separation. Our analysis explores this heterogeneity regarding male breadwinner norms within German Natives. East Germany strongly encouraged mothers to work full-time in the labour market. In contrast, West Germany propagated a more traditional male-breadwinner model. We use longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (1986–2019) for persons aged 20 to 65. We find that involuntary job loss for men raises the risk of union dissolution by 2.63% points, whereas women's job loss raises union dissolution by 2.54% points. For natives, we find that involuntary job loss for East-German men increases union dissolution by 1.81%, whereas union dissolution increases by 2.40% for West German men's following job loss. We also find that the involuntary job loss of East German men increased their daily home production by 1.29 hours and leisure activities by 0.48 hours per weekday. In contrast, West-German males increased their home production hours by 1.10 hours and leisure activities by 0.67 hours per weekday following a job loss. Male migrants from more Gender-egalitarian countries have lesser chances of divorce, and they increase their home production hours more than male migrants from less Gender-egalitarian countries following their job loss. Our results are robust to the Post-Double Selection LASSO estimator, which considers all covariates' two-way interactions. Stronger male breadwinner norms in the region/country that person belongs to explain the increased likelihood of divorce or separation and the distinction in a time-use pattern following a man's job loss.

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Online Seminar Talk, May, 17th from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. (Rostock time)

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.