Growing Education Gap in Divorce Risk in Taiwan: Findings from Period and Cohort Data

Yen-Hsin Alice Cheng, Academia Sinica

This study explores the educational gradient in divorce risk in Taiwan. The findings from period data show that a reversal in educational differential in divorce from positive to negative is observed for women in the 1980s and for men in the 1990s. The drastic increase in period divorce rates is accompanied by expanding social inequality—the least educated men and women are becoming more vulnerable to union instability. The cohort analyses indicate that Substantial increase in divorce/separation rates was first observed for those born in the 1950s and later. Furthermore, social gap in union dissolution rates expanded much faster among men than women across the years. Synthetic cohort life table estimates based on 2010 period duration-specific divorce rates also reveal substantial educational differences in the proportions of marriages ending in divorce within 10 years. The potential causes of these recent trends and implications for family policies and social assistance are discussed.

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Presented in Session 188: Cohort Change and Inequality in Divorce