Long-term changes in married couples’ labor supply and taxes: Evidence from the US and Europe since the 1980s

Read moreLong-term changes in married couples’ labor supply and taxes: Evidence from the US and Europe since the 1980s

Trajectories of Life Satisfaction Before, Upon, and After Divorce: Evidence From a New Matching Approach

The new DIAL working paper by Scheppingen and Leopold Trajectories of Life Satisfaction Before, Upon, and After Divorce: Evidence from a New Matching Approach analyses how divorce influences life satisfaction. The results indicate that life satisfaction declines among divorcees, and that some declines last at least five years after the divorce.

Van Scheppingen and Leopold analyse trajectories of life satisfaction with data from the longitudinal German Socio-Economic Panel Study. They match individuals who experience a divorce with individuals as similar to them as possible but who do not experience a divorce. By comparing these two groups, the authors can take into account other marriage-related factors that influence life satisfaction as well as the general decline in life satisfaction that tends to take place after marriage.

The results show that life satisfaction indeed declines more among divorcees than individuals who remain married. This relative decline starts years before divorce and is most pronounced at the time of the divorce. Life satisfaction rises again after divorce but remains at lower levels as compared to married individuals. The change in life satisfaction is not the same among all divorcees, indicating that some show full recovery, as others remain at lower levels of life satisfaction until years after the divorce.

Bram Hogendoorn: What does divorce have to do with the education poverty gap?

Download this episode
In Episode 2 of the DIAL podcast, Bram Hogendoorn from the University of Amsterdam discusses the DIAL Working Paper, Divorce and the growth of poverty over the life course: a risk and vulnerability approach. The research is part of the NORFACE-funded project, Critical  Life Events and the Dynamics of Inequality: Risk, Vulnerability and Cumulative Disadvantage (CRITEVENTS).

Andreas Peichl: income inequality – should we measure it differently?

In Episode 1 of Series one of the Dial podcast, Prof. Dr. Andreas Peichl, Director of the ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys at the University of Munich discusses the DIAL Working Paper, Measuring unfair inequality: reconciling equality of opportunity and freedom from poverty.


Divorce and the Growth of Poverty Gaps Over the Life Course: A Risk and Vulnerability Approach

A new paper by Hogendoorn, Leopold and Bol, Divorce and the Growth of Poverty Gaps Over the Life Course: A Risk and Vulnerability Approach, published in the DIAL working paper series, examines educational gradients in the relationship between divorce and poverty. The authors take a new approach to studying growing poverty gaps between education groups by combining theoretical aspects of gradients in the probability of divorce (risk) and gradients in how divorce influences poverty (vulnerability). Previous studies have demonstrated that the lower educated have both a higher risk of divorce, and have suggested they also have a higher probability to suffer from the negative consequences of divorce. However, by studying risk and vulnerability separately, previous research has not fully assessed their joint contributions to poverty.

Hogendoorn and colleagues study the educational gradients in divorce and poverty using longitudinal administrative data from the Netherlands. They confirm that the lower educated indeed have the highest risk of divorce and the highest probability to fall into poverty after divorce. These gradients also strengthen over the life course, which means that the contributions of divorce to poverty among lower educated men and women increase as they age. However, the contributions of divorce to poverty differ by gender and parenthood, for example mothers seem to be particularly likely to fall into poverty after divorce than any other group.

One of the main contributions of the paper is the two-fold approach of risk and vulnerability of divorce and how they have contributed to the increased poverty gaps between education groups. Hogendoorn and colleagues illustrate that especially among mothers, both risk and vulnerability of divorce contribute significantly to the educational gradient in poverty. The phenomenon is less substantial among childless individuals and absent among fathers.

Fetal programming of neuropsychiatric disorders by maternal pregnancy depression: a systematic mini review

Preterm birth: high vulnerability and no resiliency? Reflections on van Lieshout et al.(2018)

Structures and processes of labour market inequalities – Highlights from the first DIAL thematic workshop

Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course (DIAL) organised its first thematic workshop on Labour Market Inequalities Across the Life-course at the University of Turku on November 15-16, 2018. This two-day workshop brought together researchers from many of the research projects of the multi-disciplinary research programme as well as a representative from the OECD. Its focus was on inequalities related to the labour market, including working life transitions, gendered pay, retirement and working conditions. The presentations covered inequalities spanning different points of working-life pathways such as the early career, work-family relations, later earnings and retirement.

Starting from the early career stage, the HuCIAW project showed new evidence using administrative data on how, even after taking family background into account, which university you attended and what subject you studied matters for your earnings in the UK. Some research projects brought up emerging vital fields of studies regarding inequalities. For example the CILIA-LGBTQI+ project introduced a new approach, the agent-based model, to study the interactions between workplaces and LGBTQI+ citizens, and presented existing findings on the discrimination of LGBTQI+ workers in Portugal. The PREMLIFE project discussed intergenerational aspects of labour market fluctuations and how parental stress influences pre-term births, which in turn have long-lasting impacts on children’s development.

One important theme among the presentations was gender inequalities with respect to earnings, career projections and work-family relations. The HuCIAW project has found work experience after childbirth to be a significant factor affecting the gender pay gap in the UK. Further, their results show that mothers work closer to home than do fathers, which can limit their possibilities for obtaining higher-earning jobs. The EQUALLIVES project, on the other hand, showed that returning to work after childbirth is affected by mother’s pre-birth employment characteristics as well as educational attainment level. Further, they demonstrated that parental social class explains variation in initial wages among women whereas family-life trajectories influence the rate of women’s wage increases.

Another important theme during the workshop was inequalities of work among the older population. The DAISIE project presented results on working conditions of older citizens across European countries, highlighting that older workers reported being subjected to difficult working conditions less frequently in Nordic and Continental European countries than in Southern-Eastern countries. The DAISIE project also showed how the entitlement to a pension is the main factor in determining the timing of retirement in the Czech Republic. However, this can raise worries as women are entitled to retire earlier and thus their risk of poverty at old age is increased, something for which they already have a higher risk. The comparative studies of the DAISIE project demonstrated variation in retirement pathways across and within countries in Europe. For example, women and men in corporatist welfare regime countries are more likely to retire early than in other regimes. The OECD’s work on pension systems and their influence on inequality in retirement income was also discussed.

Workshop Programme

Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty

Measuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty, a new working paper by Hufe, Kanbur and Peichl, takes up the issue of multifaceted inequality by putting forth a new measure of unfair inequality. The authors argue that inequality is not bad per se, but that one should differentiate between different aspects of inequality in order to make normative statements about the fairness of a given income distribution.

Read moreMeasuring Unfair Inequality: Reconciling Equality of Opportunity and Freedom from Poverty

Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course (DIAL) is a multi-disciplinary research programme consisting of thirteen European projects. The projects examine the sources, structures and consequences of inequalities in contemporary societies. The programme is funded by NORFACE for the period 2017–2021.

EU flag shown in acknowledgment of EU funding

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 724363

Interested in learning more about the dynamics of inequality?

Sign up to stay informed about upcoming publications, conferences and workshops.

We will send you a quarterly report on activities across all research projects. For more information on how we store your data, please see our Privacy Policy.