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I Can’t Smile Without You: Spousal Correlation in Life Satisfaction

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  • N Powdthavee

Abstract

This paper studies how spouses' life satisfaction levels are correlated. Using the British Household Panel Survey, it tests whether the observed positive correlation in life satisfaction is due to assortative mating, shared social environment, or spillover effect of well-being between partners. There is evidence of a positive and statistically important correlation between partners' well-being, even after controlling for omitted individual fixed effects and allowing cross-equation residuals to be correlated. This is consistent with the idea of well-being spillovers within marriage. Moreover, consistent with the spillover effect model, marital dissolution at t+1 is negatively correlated with partners' life satisfaction at t.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of York in its series Discussion Papers with number 08/16.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:08/16

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Keywords: Life Satisfaction; Assortative Mating; Spillover; Marriage; Longitudinal;

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Blog mentions

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  1. The Most Rejected Paper?
    by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2012-01-23 08:35:00
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Cited by:
  1. Cahit Guven & Claudia Senik & Holger Stichnoth, 2010. "You Can't Be Happier Than Your Wife: Happiness Gaps and Divorce," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 261, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2012. "Working Time Preferences, Hours Mismatch and Well-Being of Couples: Are There Spillovers?," IZA Discussion Papers 6786, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Martin Binder & Tom Broekel, 2012. "Happiness No Matter the Cost? An Examination on How Efficiently Individuals Reach Their Happiness Levels," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 621-645, August.
  4. Luca Zanin, 2013. "Detecting Unobserved Heterogeneity in the Relationship Between Subjective Well-Being and Satisfaction in Various Domains of Life Using the REBUS-PLS Path Modelling Approach: A Case Study," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 281-304, January.
  5. Nattavudh Powdthavee & James Vernoit, 2012. "The Transferable Scars: A Longitudinal Evidence of Psychological Impact of Past Parental Unemployment on Adolescents in the United Kingdom," CEP Discussion Papers dp1165, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Adireksombat, Kampon, 2010. "From Classroom to Wedding Aisle: The Effect of a Nationwide Change in the Compulsory Schooling Law on Age at First Marriage in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 5019, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Tumen, Semih & Zeydanli, Tugba, 2014. "Is Happiness Contagious? Separating Spillover Externalities from the Group-Level Social Context," MPRA Paper 53184, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Piper, Alan T., 2013. "Happiness, Dynamics and Adaptation," MPRA Paper 52342, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Cahit Guven & Claudia Senik & Holger Stichnoth, 2011. "You can't be happier than your wife. Happiness Gaps and Divorce," Working Papers halshs-00555427, HAL.
  10. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2013. "Life satisfaction and self-employment: a matching approach," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1009-1033, May.
  11. Johannes Schwarze & Rainer Winkelmann, 2011. "Happiness and altruism within the extended family," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1033-1051, July.
  12. Philomena M. Bacon & Anna Conte & Peter G. Moffatt, 2012. "Risk Attitude in Couples," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-016, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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