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1. Ruggles examines the relationship between local labor market characteristics and marital status. What does he find? What do his
results tell us about the link between marital instability and women's labor market participation? What about the link between marital
instability and men's economic position?
2. What are Oppenheimer and Preston's criticisms of this study? Do you find them convincing? How did Ruggles address these criticisms? Do you agree with his responses? Did he address their concerns?
3. Ruggles argues that one problem with Oppenheimer's hypothesis about the relationship between men's economic position and marital
instability is that for most of the past century, opportunity for men was increasing, though divorce rates were increasing. However,
Oppenheimer has found a strong relationship between men's economic position and union formation/dissolution in her work. How might these be reconciled?
4. Ruggles divides the independence hypothesis into two separate interpretations - the interdependence theory and the economic-opportunity interpretation. What is the difference between these two interpretations?
5. Does Ruggles analysis imply that labor market variables have had the same effects on marital stability over the course of the last century?