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Marriage Matters: Spousal Similarity in Life Satisfaction

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  • Ulrich Schimmack
  • Richard Lucas

Abstract

Spousal similarity in life satisfaction is important for causal theories of life satisfaction. This study examined the concurrent and cross-lagged spousal similarity in life satisfaction over a 21-year period based on 847 married couples in the German Socio-Economic Panel. Concurrent spousal similarity (e.g., husband 1990 & wife 1990) was considerably higher than one-year lagged similarity (e.g., husband 1990 & wife 1991). This finding reveals spousal similarity in the variable component of life satisfaction that fluctuates from year to year. In addition, cross-lagged spousal similarity systematically decreased with length of the time lag. This finding reveals spousal similarity in the changing component of life satisfaction. Finally, there was considerable cross-lagged spousal similarity over the longest time lag (e.g., husband 1984 & wife 2004). This finding reveals spousal similarity in the stable component of life satisfaction. The evidence for a changing component in spousal similarity in life satisfaction provides conclusive evidence that changes in one spouse's life satisfaction are systematically related to changes in the other spouse's life satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulrich Schimmack & Richard Lucas, 2007. "Marriage Matters: Spousal Similarity in Life Satisfaction," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 105-111.
  • Handle: RePEc:aeq:aeqsjb:v127_y2007_i1_q1_p105-111
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2012. "You can’t be happier than your wife. Happiness gaps and divorce," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 110-130.
    2. Gail Pacheco & Thomas Lange, 2010. "Political participation and life satisfaction: a cross-European analysis," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 686-702, August.
    3. Ulrich Schimmack & Jürgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2008. "The Influence of Environment and Personality on the Affective and Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 41-60, October.
    4. Ulrich Schimmack & Richard Lucas, 2010. "Environmental Influences on Well-Being: A Dyadic Latent Panel Analysis of Spousal Similarity," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 1-21, August.
    5. Ulrich Schimmack & Peter Krause & Gert Wagner & Jürgen Schupp, 2010. "Stability and Change of Well Being: An Experimentally Enhanced Latent State-Trait-Error Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 19-31, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Z23 - Other Special Topics - - Sports Economics - - - Finance

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