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Working for a divorce

An increased risk of divorce encourages women to work longer hours outside the home, according to new research from LSE.

According to the research by Dr Berkay Özcan, for every 1% increase in the risk of marital breakdown, women work an extra 12 minutes per week.

Dr Özcan said: “We see that women who are at a higher risk of divorce significantly increase how much they work. And it isn’t that women working outside the home are more likely to get divorced. Rather, faced with a rising probability of divorce, women work more, whether they ultimately separate or not. They are working as a form of insurance in case of divorce or in anticipation of it.”

There was no strong evidence that men increased their work hours with the increased risk of divorce.

The researchers found that women’s increased work outside the home was not compensated by either a decrease in domestic time spent on childcare or an increase in childrearing by fathers.

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