Socio-economic determinants of divorce in Lithuania: specialization hypothesis reconsidered

Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and New Economic School, Russia
Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Vlada Stankuniene, Institute for Social Research (ISR), Vilnius
Aiva Jasilioniene, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Ausra Maslauskaite, Institute for Social Research (ISR), Vilnius

The study focuses on socio-economic determinants of divorce in Lithuania and is based on the census linked dataset covering all first divorces and person years of exposure of married males and females during 2001-2003. The theoretical framework of the research is based on the gender role specialization hypothesis that associates the decrease in the gender role specialization and increase in the divorce risks. Main goal of the study is to examine the potential of the specialization hypothesis for the explanation of the divorce trends in part of Eastern Europe were the family modernization process due to historical circumstances followed a specific path. The study suggests that the observed socio-economic differentials in first divorce risk support the specialization hypothesis for males. Males with lower socio-economic status and lower prospects to fulfil the traditional breadwinner role experience higher risks to end their marriage in divorce. The findings on the link between the economic role of women and the risk of divorce are inconsistent. Although economically inactive women experience a lower risk of divorce, unemployed women were still more prone for divorce as in the case of males.

Presented in Session 72: Union dissolution