Remarriage of Men and Women: The Role of Socioeconomic Prospects

Sweeney, Megan
Working paper no. 1995-08


This analysis of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study tests the ability of women’s economic independence to explain the propensity to remarry. More broadly, it examines the effects of men’s and women’s socioeconomic prospects on remarriage following divorce. Theories emphasizing women’s economic independence predict that women with the greatest alternatives to marriage will be least likely to remarry. The current analysis points to a more complicated scenario, finding the effect of occupational status on the remarriage of women to vary with women’s age at separation. In contrast, few effects of men’s socioeconomic prospects on remarriage are found.