Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 175-190

First online:

Divorce and female labor force participation: Evidence from times-series data and cointegration

  • Dale BremmerAffiliated withRose-Hulman Institute of Technology
  • , Randy KesselringAffiliated withArkansas State University

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The divorce rate in the United States has increased over the last 40 years. This increase was accompanied both by growing female labor force participation and rising female income. These changes were accompanied by a significant reduction in the birth rate for married women. This article uses time-series data and cointegration techniques to determine the direction of causality between these variables. Analysis of the impulse functions show that the divorce rate will increase if either female labor force participation or income increases. Positive innovations to the divorce rate increase the labor force participation rate of married women. Rising levels of income lead to greater female participation in the labor market.