Gendered income dominance and partner instability

Gosta Esping-Andersen, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Anders Holm, University of Copenhagen

Do partnerships become more unstable when the female partner is economically dominant? We revisit this old debate analyzing Danish panel data, 1980-2010 which allows us to trace change as Denmark shifted towards increasingly gender egalitarian norms. We focus especially on different divorce risks by education level. Our analyses show a positive divorce risk when the female gains dominant status in the 1980s. This effect evaporates by the 2000s, suggesting that the acceptance of gender egalitarianism has become broadly entrenched. We additionally test a diffusion model of gender egalitarianism by estimating year-by-year divorce probabilities and find a fairly close fit.

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Presented in Session 37: Socioeconomic well-being of partnership