MPIDR Working Paper

Economic determinants of divorce among dual-earner couples: Jews in Israel

Raz-Yurovich, L.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2011-008, 38 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (May 2011)
This working paper has been published in European Journal of Population and is available on line using the link below:
Open Access


How relevant are the available theoretical perspectives on marriage dissolution for understanding modern family forms? By employing a unique set of longitudinal register-based data for the Jewish population in Israel, this study seeks to find out which of the major theoretical perspectives on economic determinants of divorce best explains the transition to divorce among dual-earner couples. Our findings appear to support theories that assert asymmetry and power relations between the spouses. The women's economic independence hypothesis is not confirmed by our results, which indicate that the wife’s earnings do not affect divorce risk. In line with theories of income pooling, higher shared salaries are found to increase marital stability. Nonetheless, our results demonstrate that the basic assumption of symmetry between the spouses in these theories does not hold. Although employment stability for both spouses appears to reduce divorce risk, only the husband’s salary is shown to negatively affect the odds of divorce, and only the wife’s working hours and sector of employment are found to positively affect marriage instability. Moreover, couples in which the wife earns as much as or more than the husband are found to have the highest divorce risk.
Keywords: Israel, home economics
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.