Steigert eine Frau als Hauptverdiener das Scheidungsrisiko?

Eine Studie zu der Frage, inwieweit Ehen mit weiblicher Hauptverdienerin eher geschieden werden:

Using German panel data from 1984 to 2007, we analyze the impact of labor division between husband and wife on the risk of divorce. Gary Becker’s theory of marriage predicts that specialization in house- and market work, respectively, reduces the risk of separation. Tradition- ally, the breadwinner role is assigned to the husband, however, female employment has risen substantially and egalitarian gender attitudes are more common today. Our results suggest that specialization per se does not enhance marital stability. Female breadwinner-couples have a higher probability of divorce than couples with a traditional labor division, whereas the egalitarian one has no effect.

Quelle: Labor division between wife and husband and the risk of divorce: New evidence for Germany (PDF, Volltext)

Aus der Studie zu vorherigen Studien:

From the international perspective, it is quite common to use the wife’s in-come as proportion of total household income as variable of main interest. With respect to the estimated effect of it the analyses can be divided into two groups. One group consists of those studies that ¯nd a destabilizing im- pact of female’s relative income. Early examples are Booth et al. (1984) and D’Amico (1983) (using wives‘ potential earnings). The second group do not ¯nd any statistically signicant effect of this ratio. Examples are Tzeng and Mare (1995), Bumpass et al. (1991), and Spitze and South (1985). Tzeng and Mare (1995), however, ¯nd that a change in wife’s earnings raises the probability of divorce which cannot be found for changes in husband’s earn- ings. Similarly, Weiss and Willis (1997) suggest that an unexpected increase in wife’s wage earning capacity destabilizes a marriage, whereas an unex- pected increase in husband’s wage earning capacity lowers the probability of divorce. In her review of the relevance of the independence hypothesis, Oppenheimer (1997) emphasizes the weaknesses of those studies that have found a posi- tive relationship between the wife’s income proportion and risk of divorce. The independence hypothesis says that women’s rising labor force partici- pation has increased their financial independence and has therefore reduced the value of marriage (Oppenheimer (1997)). She states that the independence hypothesis is based on the traditional gender-specifc specialization and should not be relevant anymore for modern couples. However, some recent studies show the opposite. Kesselring and Bremmer (2006) (using a sample of the US Current Population Survey), Liu and Vikat (2004) (register-based data for Sweden), as well as Jalovaara (2003) (register-based data for Finland) and evidence for the independence effect despite the fact that Scandinavian countries usually stand for egalitarian gender attitudes. The authors show that if the female’s earnings become a larger proportion of the total family income, the likelihood of divorce increases. This effect is not compensated by the stabilizing effect of a higher family income. Only Sayer and Bianchi (2000) confirm Oppenheimer’s predictions after controlling for a huge set of indicators like demographic characteristics, children, marital duration, time spouses spent together, and a gender ideology index. Hence, empirical evidence is not clear.

Meiner Meinung nach ist es wahrscheinlich eher ein Statusproblem. Demnach hängt viel davon ab, inwieweit anderweitig Status demonstriert werden kann. Die Fähigkeit zu Versorgen ist insoweit ein Kriterium innerhalb des Statusbegriffs, aber natürlich ein wichtiges wie sich an der Sexual Strategies Theorie erkennen lässt.