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The Impact of Husbands' and Wives' Relative Earnings on Marital Disruption

D. Alex Heckert, Thomas C. Nowak and Kay A. Snyder
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 60, No. 3 (Aug., 1998), pp. 690-703
DOI: 10.2307/353538
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353538
Page Count: 14
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The Impact of Husbands' and Wives' Relative Earnings on Marital Disruption
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Abstract

In the last several decades, a shift has occurred in the relative contributions of married women to household earnings. Yet we know little about the impact of relative earnings of husbands and wives on the likelihood of marital disruption. This study estimates a discrete-time hazard model using data on first married couples from the 1986-1989 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The relative earnings of husbands and wives are a significant predictor of marital disruption, although the relationship is nonlinear. We suggest this nonlinear effect is linked to the varying economic circumstances of different groups of couples.

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