Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households
Decision to leave home
Female labor force participation
Household decision making
Demography, Population, and Ecology
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Since World War II there has been: (i) a rise in the fraction of time that married households allocate to market work, (ii) an increase in the rate of divorce, and (iii) a decline in the rate of marriage. It is argued here that labor-saving technological progress in the household sector can explain these facts. This makes it more feasible for singles to maintain their own home, and for married women to work. To address this question, a search model of marriage and divorce, which incorporates household production, is developed. An extension looks back at the prewar era.