Essays on Divorce, Marriage, Time Allocation and Employment

Katherine R Genadek

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This dissertation consists of three essays in the areas of labor economics and economic demography. The first essay builds on previous research, which has analyzed the economic impacts of divorce using various methods and outcomes, and from this research it is clear that divorce has economic consequences for women. One consequence of divorce that has not been explored is changes time allocation. Time allocation, specifically time spent in leisure, is directly related to the well-being of individuals, and it is expected to change with divorce when time-use gains from joint household production are no longer realized. The results show that divorced women spend more time in market work, and less time in housework than their married counterparts. Divorced women with children are found to have less leisure time than married women, and divorced women are found to spend the same amount of time in primary childcare yet significantly less time with children while doing other activities. The second essay is on the decision to enter the labor force for women with children. This decision is based on a variety of factors that includes characteristics of spouses. Husbands work schedules, work hours, and flexibility of work time will play an important role in this decision to enter the labor force, and additionally, in the decision to work part-time or a set number of hours. This paper uses detailed time-dairy and work schedules data to investigate the relationship between husbands work schedules and maternal employment. The results show married women with children are less likely to participate in the labor force when their husbands finish work after 6:00pm when compared to husbands that finish work before 6:00pm, even while controlling for simultaneous relationship between husbands work stopping time and wifes labor force participation. Finally, the third essay of this dissertation analyzes the effect of state-level changes in divorce law on the time allocation of married men and women. The results show that married mens time allocation is not impacted by the change in divorce law, yet women are found to be spending more time in leisure and less time in household production in states with unilateral divorce law.
Original languageEnglish (US)
  • Davis, Elizabeth E, Advisor
Place of PublicationMinneapolis, MN
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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