A report published by the Journal of Family Issues claims that in marriages where the wife earns 60% or more of the family’s income, the marriage is far more likely to end in divorce.
We only can speculate on the reasons why, since the study doesn’t provide evidence either way: Are women with their own source of income less dependent on the marriage? Do non-traditional gender roles brings stress into the marriage? We’ve written about divorce culture and divorce statistics before.
Apparently, the overall level of wealth in the marriage didn’t make any difference. This was a longitudinal study with 2,500 women participating, so the results are significant. However, since most of the women participating were of the same older generation, it’s likely that a survey of a younger group of women would yield different results.
Here is the abstract:
Using longitudinal data covering 25 years from 1979 to 2004, the author examines the relationship between wives’ economic resources and the risk of marital dissolution. The author considers the effects of labor force participation, income, and relative income while accounting for potential endogeneity of wives’ economic resources. The extent to which wives’ economic resources are differentially related to marital disruption for Whites and Blacks is also ascertained. The author finds that the economic resources of women are tightly linked to the risk of divorce, both negatively and positively, for Whites but not for Blacks.
The full report is a paid download called Wives’ Economic Resources and Risk of Divorce by Jay Teachman of Western Washington University.