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How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence

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  • Wilson, Chris M.

    ()
    (University of East Anglia)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper examines an accumulating modern literature on the health benefits of relationships like marriage. Although much remains to be understood about the physiological channels, we draw the judgment, after looking across many journals and disciplines, that there is persuasive longitudinal evidence for such effects. The size of the health gain from marriage is remarkable. It may be as large as the benefit from giving up smoking.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1619.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1619

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Keywords: mortality; health; marriage; happiness; longitudinal;

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References

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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 1996. "Marital status and mortality: The role of health," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 313-327, August.
  3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2004. "Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 10499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 84, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Cem Mete, 2005. "Predictors of elderly mortality:health status, socioeconomic characteristics and social determinants of health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(2), pages 135-148.
  6. Chun, Hyunbae & Lee, Injae, 2001. "Why Do Married Men Earn More: Productivity or Marriage Selection?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 307-19, April.
  7. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "Do Divorcing Couples Become Happier By Breaking Up?," IZA Discussion Papers 1788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Linda J. Waite & Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2003. "The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the United States: A Comparative Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 255-275.
  10. Costa Dora L., 1993. "Height, Weight, Wartime Stress, and Older Age Mortality: Evidence from the Union Army Records," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 424-449, October.
  11. Umberson, Debra, 1992. "Gender, marital status and the social control of health behavior," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 907-917, April.
  12. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. Reed, W Robert & Harford, Kathleen, 1989. "The Marriage Premium and Compensating Wage Differentials," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 237-65.
  14. Sobal, Jeffery & Rauschenbach, Barbara & Frongillo, Edward A., 2003. "Marital status changes and body weight changes: a US longitudinal analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1543-1555, April.
  15. Eng Seng Loh, 1996. "Productivity Differences and the Marriage Wage Premium for White Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 566-589.
  16. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew, 2004. "How is mortality affected by money, marriage, and stress?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1181-1207, November.
  17. Ren, Xinhua Steve, 1997. "Marital status and quality of relationships: The impact on health perception," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 241-249, January.
  18. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1993. "'Til Death Do Us Part: Marital Disruption and Mortality," Papers, RAND - Labor and Population Program 93-10, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. "Subsidizing" childcare
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-03-18 13:26:29
  2. Religion is good for you
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-08-24 14:13:38
  3. Happiness, marriage and incentives
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2007-04-08 11:43:11
  4. Les réformes fiscales auxquelles vous échapperez (probablement)
    by Alexandre Delaigue in Econoclaste on 2007-04-20 18:35:31
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