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Just a piece of paper? The effect of marriage on health

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Author Info

  • Fisher, Hayley

Abstract

There is extensive evidence that married people are, on average, healthier than their unmarried counterparts. It is unclear how much this positive correlation can be explained by the selection of healthier people into marriage. In this paper, I estimate the effect of marriage relative to cohabitation on health and disability. I control for selection into marriage by instrumenting marital status using state and time variation in marriage tax penalties. After controlling for selection, low education men benefit from marriage whilst all other men are no better off if married. For women with more than high school education, marriage increases the probability of reporting a health problem.

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File URL: http://econ-wpseries.com/2012/201217.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Sydney, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2012-17.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2012-17

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Postal: Sydney, NSW 2006
Phone: 61 +2 9351 5055
Fax: 61 +2 9351 4341
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Web page: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
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Related research

Keywords: health; disability; marriage; cohabitation; marriage penalty;

References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist, 2000. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert G. Wood & Brian Goesling & Sarah Avellar, 2007. "The Effects of Marriage on Health: A Synthesis of Recent Research Evidence," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5512, Mathematica Policy Research.
  3. James Alm & Leslie Whittington, 2003. "Shacking Up or Shelling Out: Income Taxes, Marriage, and Cohabitation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 169-186, September.
  4. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  5. Eissa, Nada & Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 2000. "Explaining the Fall and Rise in the Tax Cost of Marriage: The Effect of Tax Laws and Demographic Trends, 1984-97," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(n. 3), pages 683-712, September.
  6. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Fisher, Hayley, 2011. "Marriage penalties, marriage, and cohabitation," Working Papers 2011-12, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  8. Manzoli, Lamberto & Villari, Paolo & M Pirone, Giovanni & Boccia, Antonio, 2007. "Marital status and mortality in the elderly: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 77-94, January.
  9. Alm, James & Whittington, Leslie A., 1996. "The Rise and Fall and Rise ... of the Marriage Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 49(4), pages 571-89, December.
  10. Greg Duncan & Bessie Wilkerson & Paula England, 2006. "Cleaning up their act: The effects of marriage and cohabitation on licit and illicit drug use," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 691-710, November.
  11. Crossley, Thomas F. & Kennedy, Steven, 2002. "The reliability of self-assessed health status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 643-658, July.
  12. Kathleen McGarry, 2004. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  13. Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 1996. "Marital status and mortality: The role of health," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 313-327, August.
  14. Robert G. Wood & Brian Goesling & Sarah Avellar, 2007. "The Effects of Marriage on Health: A Synthesis of Recent Research Evidence," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5511, Mathematica Policy Research.
  15. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
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