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Divorce and the gender division of labor in comparative perspective

By Torben Iversen, Frances Rosenbluth and David Soskice


This article shows how cross-national variation in labor market attributes, social policies affecting female employment, and divorce laws affect both female labor force participation and divorce. These in turn lead to a systematic gendered pattern in the preferences for government spending on social services. By analyzing data on household division of labor and divorce, we show that a politically and institutionally mediated bargaining model better explains choices over allocation of work than does Becker’s economic model, which assumes a single family utility function. This analysis suggests the fruitfulness of investigating how labor markets and public policies shape gender stereotypes and for how child support rules may affect women’s decisions about labor market participation

Topics: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1093/sp
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:16561
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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