Partnership Instability over the School-to-Work Transition among Women in France

Benjamin Marteau , Institut National d'études Démographiques (INED)
Giulia Ferrari, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

In the recent decades, mass schooling and improved access to tertiary education have contributed to an increasing number of cohabitating couples that are formed before graduation, especially among women, due to their average younger age with respect to their male partner. Although adverse economic conditions and the restriction of affordable housing are in place, students may still engage in a relationship that implies a shared independent housing. Afterwards, once graduated and still in a coresidential partnership, they often enter in the labor market. With an increasing convergence of professional prospects between men and women, less gender specialized division of labor, and in an era of increasing self-fulfillment and individualization, the intersection of both partners’ professional trajectories challenges partnership stability. The aim of this paper is to assess the effect of graduation and of the first (stable) labor market entry on first coresidential partnership’s separation among women in France. We propose to analyze these two events as a process, by focusing on the timing of enrollment and employment changes, to determine their impact on union dissolution. We used the French EPIC survey (i.e. Study on individual and partnership trajectories, Ined 2013) and applied discrete-time event history analysis to model the probability of a first separation depending on the employment status. Our results indicate a significant effect of women’s graduation on their probability of separation when they enter the labor market the same year. Henceforth, a rapid transition from education to employment during young adulthood positively affects union dissolution.

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 Presented in Session 100. Union Dissolution 2