Coupled careers. Effects of spouse's resources on occupational attainment in the Netherlands
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SourceEuropean Sociological Review, 14, 1, (1998), pp. 15-31
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
European Sociological Review
SubjectNijmegen Institute for Social and Cultural Research
Economic theory predicts a negative association between spouses' levels of occupational attainment due to gains from specialization between housework and paid work. Sociology typically stresses facilitating effects of network resources on occupational attainment. Spouses are network members who may be able and willing to provide such resources. According to this argument, a positive association between spouses' levels of attainment is expected. Confronting these two alternative hypotheses, questions on the effects of spouse's resources on occupational attainment are addressed. We analyse the Dutch Family Survey 1992/93, a survey that covers the complete job histories of about 700 couples. Hypotheses on positive and negative effects of a spouse's resources on employment entry and exit and on job mobility are tested in an event-history analysis. The analysis shows that a spouse's financial resources hinder occupational attainment, while a spouse's human capital has facilitating effects, and therefore both economic and sociological theories are corroborated.
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