MPIDR Working Paper

The effects of socio-cultural and labor market conditions on marital separation during the early democratic period in Spain

Houle, R.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2004-023, 36 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (August 2004)
Open Access


In this paper, we examine the socio-cultural conditions and labour market participation correlates of marital separation in transition Spain (1977-90). In the country, marital disruption is highly selective. Men and women who have completed secondary education at least and women who participate in the labour market are more prone to be involved in marital separation than other groups. We also observed a differential effect by sex of contextual covariates on divorce risks. For women, a strong positive association between proportion of the labour force in the service sector in provinces and marital disruption has been found. For men, the socio-cultural context is stronger than the economic opportunity effect. The other important result is the presence of a “U” shape curve linking divorce with socio-economic characteristics. Divorce risks tend to be higher at the opposite ends of the socio-economic structure, a fact that is more pronounced for women than men.
Keywords: Spain, divorce rate, labor force participation
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