Working Paper No. 1146

All the Single Ladies: Job Promotions and the Durability of Marriage

Published: December 22, 2016Pages: 58Keywords: Promotions; Marriage; Social norms; Divorce; Career.JEL-codes: H00; J12; J16

All the Single Ladies: Job Promotions and the Durability of Marriage Olle Folke and Johanna Rickne


This paper addresses women's under-representation in top jobs in organizational hierarchies. We show that promotions to top jobs dramatically increase women's probability of divorce, but do not affect men's marriages. This effect is causally estimated for top jobs in the political sector, where close electoral results deliver exogenous variation in promotions across job candidates.

Descriptive evidence from job promotions to the position of CEO shows that private sector promotions result in the same gender inequality in the risk of divorce. A description of male and female job candidates' household formations sheds some light on the mechanism behind this result.

For most male candidates for top jobs, their promotion aligns with the gender-specialized division of paid and unpaid labor in their households. Many female candidates for top jobs live in dual-earner households and are married to older husbands who take a small share of parental leave.

Divorce among women in top jobs occurs more often in couples with a larger age gap and a less equal division of leave, and in households in which her promotion shifts the division of earnings (further) away from the norm of male dominance.

No divorce effect is found in couples that are more gender-equal in terms of having a smaller age gap and a more equal division of parental leave.

We argue that norms and behavior in the marriage market hinder the closure of the gender gap in the labor market.

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

Pages-from-2019-Oxelheim-m.gif

This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

About the book

Events

Seminars organized by IFN

 

To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se