NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households

Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner

NBER Working Paper No. 10772
Issued in September 2004
NBER Program(s):   EFG   LS

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. What can explain this? It is argued here that technological progress in the household sector has saved on the need for labor at home. 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 is developed. Household production benefits from labor-saving technological progress.

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This paper was revised on June 4, 2008

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10772

Published: Marriage and Divorce since World War II: Analyzing the Role of Technological Progress on the Formation of Households, Jeremy Greenwood, Nezih Guner. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2008, Volume 23, Acemoglu, Rogoff, and Woodford. 2009

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