Beförderungen und das Risiko einer Scheidung: Frauen in hohen Positionen haben ein höheres Scheidungsrisiko als Männer

Eine interessante Studie:

We study how promotions to top jobs affect the probability of divorce. We compare the relationship trajectories of winning and losing candidates for mayor and parliamentarian and find that a promotion to one of these jobs doubles the baseline probability of divorce for women, but not for men. We also find a widening gender gap in divorce rates for men and women after being promoted to CEO. An analysis of possible mechanisms shows that divorces are concentrated in more gender-traditional couples, while women in more gender-equal couples are unaffected.

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

Aus der Studie:

Man sieht, dass die Frauen eher eine kürzere Ehezeit hatten, die Männer hingegen eher noch eine etwas längere.

Aus einer Besprechung der Studie:

Getting a top job dramatically increases women’s chances of divorce, even in egalitarian countries. Why isn’t it the same for men?

Having a successful and enjoyable career alongside a fulfilling romantic relationship is a life goal for many of us. But even in the most gender-equal countries, finding a partnership that lasts is trickier for high-flying women than men.

In Sweden, which ranks first in the EU’s gender equality index thanks to factors like generous parental leave, subsidised daycare and flexible working arrangements, economists recently studied how promotions to top jobs affected the probability of divorce for each gender. The result: women were much more likely to pay a higher personal price for their career success.

“Promotion to a top job in politics increases the divorce rate of women but not for men, and women who become CEOs divorce faster than men who become CEOs,” summarises Johanna Rickne, a professor at Stockholm University and co-author of the research, which was published earlier this month in American Economic Journal.

The paper, which looked at the lives of heterosexual men and women working for private companies with 100 or more employees, found that married women were twice as likely to be divorced three years after their promotion to CEO level compared to their male counterparts. In the public sector, using three decades’ worth of records, women mayors and parliamentarians promoted after an election doubled their chances of splitting from their partners; 75% were still married eight years after the vote compared with 85% of those who didn’t get promoted, while there was no evidence of a similar effect for men. Female medical doctors, police officers and priests who progressed in their careers also followed the trend.

Natürlich muss man erst einmal anführen, dass die meisten noch verheiratet waren. Aber von 85% auf 75% ist schon ein deutlicher Wert. Insbesondere wenn die Chancen sich bei den Männern nicht verändern.

While Rickne’s research did not measure which party initiated divorce in each case, one theory is that the husbands of top managers who got promoted found the situation harder to deal with than wives who were married to high-performing men. She points out that the marriage market has not kept up with the labour market when it comes to gender equality, since it is “still seen as quite unusual for men to be the main supportive spouse in someone else’s career”.

“I think this norm changing is pretty far off,” she adds. Her team’s research, she argues, might therefore act as a lesson about what lies ahead for other countries that are moving towards more egalitarian economies.

Und weiter:

So how might women aiming for top jobs mitigate their chances of entering into a relationship that destabilises when they reach the top of their career ladder?

Rickne points out that, even in egalitarian countries like Sweden, women still tend to marry older men who start out having more money than them, harking back to traditional “prince in the fairytale” narratives that “try and teach us to find as successful a husband as possible”.

“High-income high-status women – they don’t marry a low-income man who wants to be a house husband. They tend to seek an even more high-income husband. But thinking forward to your possibilities in the labour market, this might not be ideal,” she argues. “Maybe try and get into a more egalitarian relationship from the start.”
Couples who were closer in age and took a more egalitarian approach to childcare were less likely to divorce following a wife’s promotion.
Her research in Sweden found that divorces after promotions were most likely in couples where the wife was younger than her husband by a larger margin and took a bigger share of parental leave (which, in Sweden, partners legally have the right to split evenly between them).

Couples who were closer in age and took a more egalitarian approach to childcare were less likely to divorce following a wife’s promotion. The paper calls for more research to explore the conditions that might encourage “women at the top of the ability distribution to expand their choice set of partners to ‘marry down’ and for men to do the opposite”.

Leider gar nicht diskutiert wird, dass die Frauen der beförderten Männer vielleicht jetzt einfach einen statushöheren Mann hatten, der ihnen ein angenehmeres Leben geboten hat und sie von der Arbeit freigestellt hat während die Männer der beförderten Frauen diesen Luxus nicht hatten, weil sie selbst Karriere gemacht haben bzw die beförderten Frauen dann, wenn der Mann seine Karriere hinten an gestellt hatte, plötzlich einen statusniedrigeren Mann hatten und dies für sie teilweise weniger attraktiv war.

Ein Tweet dazu:

I imagine a woman telling her female friends that her husband stays home and changes diapers hits a bit differently from telling them he bought her a high priced luxury bag.

Der Status des Ehepartners ist unter Frauen eben auch ein Statusobjekt.

Dazu kommt, dass sich die Partnerschaft mit der beförderten Frau auch für den Mann mit höheren Status weniger lohnen könnte: Beide sind gestresst, beide haben keine Zeit etc. Er ist gleichzeitig auch für andere Frauen interessanter, während die statushohe Frau nicht im gleichen Maße im Partnerwert steigt.

Und natürlich kann es daneben bei den Männer auch die Einteilung „Frau für die Familie, Geliebte für den Sex“ geben, die für die beförderten Frauen wahrscheinlich weniger interessant ist, aber „ehebewahrend“ sein könnte.