In a well-known study Morgan, Lye and Condran (1988) state that sons prevent the risk of divorce more than daughters do. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the sex composition of children on the stability of the parental marriage in Italy, a country where this research question is particularly interesting because of conservative gender roles within the family. The relative risk of marital dissolution is estimated for individuals with different numbers and sexes of children using a discrete time event-history model. The findings do not support either the hypothesis that sons contribute more to marital stability than daughters or the hypothesis that the effect of the sex composition of children has changed over time.
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