Educational Differences in Divorce in Japan

Raymo, James, Setsuya Fukuda, and Miho Iwasawa
Working paper no. 2012-01


Contrary to standard theoretical predictions, there is some evidence of a negative educational gradient in divorce in Japan. In this paper, we used marital history data from a cross-sectional survey to confirm that educational attainment is inversely related to divorce and to show that, in contrast to previous findings, the negative relationship between women’s education and divorce has not become stronger in recent years. We also used fourteen years of panel survey data to evaluate four possible explanations for the observed negative educational gradient. With the exception of economic strain, we found little support for hypothesized explanations.