Women's employment and the gain to marriage: the specialization and trading model

Annu Rev Sociol. 1997:23:431-53. doi: 10.1146/annurev.soc.23.1.431.


"This chapter critically examines the hypothesis that women's rising employment levels have increased their economic independence and hence have greatly reduced the desirability of marriage. Little firm empirical support for this hypothesis is found. The apparent congruence in time-series data of women's rising employment with declining marriage rates and increasing marital instability is partly a result of using the historically atypical early postwar behavior of the baby boom era as the benchmark for comparisons and partly due to confounding trends in delayed marriage with those of nonmarriage."

MeSH terms

  • Americas
  • Developed Countries
  • Economics
  • Employment*
  • Marriage*
  • North America
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Women's Rights*