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The dissolution of first unions and women’s economic activity in the UK -PhD thesis-


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This study investigates whether there is an association between economic
activity in women and union dissolution in the UK. This study looks at
both individual-level and aggregate-level trends by posing a number of
research questions. Using a series of Cox Proportional Hazard and
Piecewise Constant models to analyse individual-level data from the
British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society surveys, this
study has found only weak and inconsistent evidence of an association
between women’s economic activity and union dissolution. Examining these
data for separate union cohorts, this study has found some initial
evidence that the relationship between economic activity and union
dissolution may be changing over time. The final stage of the analysis
in this study looked at aggregate trends in economic activity and
divorce and found some evidence of an association at the aggregate
level, although due to data restrictions this was not conclusive.
Following a discussion of the changing status of women and the changing
legal, social and cultural context within which unions are formed and
dissolved, this study concluded more evidence is found for an
association at the aggregate level, leading to the hypothesis that
economic activity is contributing to wider social changes and that these
social changes are influencing the risk of union dissolution.


Social Change, Labour Market, and Family Formation And Dissolution


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