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The Marriage Gap: Optimal Aging and Death in Partnerships

Author

Listed:
  • Johannes Schuenemann

    (University of Goettingen)

  • Holger Strulik

    (University of Goettingen)

  • Timo Trimborn

    (Aarhus University)

Abstract

In this paper we explore how marriage affects longevity of men and women through income pooling and public-goods sharing as well as joint utility maximization of partners with different preferences and biology. We integrate joint decision making of couples into a biologically founded life-cycle model of health deficit accumulation and endogenous longevity, calibrate the model with U.S. data, and perform the counterfactual experiment of preventing the partnership. We elaborate four economic channels and find that, as singles, men live 8.5 months shorter and women 6 months longer. We conclude that about 25% of the marriage gain in longevity of men can be motivated by economic calculus while the marriage gain for women observed in the data is attributed to selection or other (non-standard economic) motives. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Schuenemann & Holger Strulik & Timo Trimborn, 2020. "The Marriage Gap: Optimal Aging and Death in Partnerships," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 158-176, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:18-187
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2019.09.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Schünemann, Johannes & Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2019. "Anticipation of deteriorating health and information avoidance," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 365, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    2. Johannes Schünemann & Holger Strulik & Timo Trimborn, 2021. "Optimal Demand for Medical and Long-Term Care," Economics Working Papers 2021-07, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    3. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Hansen, Casper Worm & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Physiological Aging around the World and Economic Growth," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 375, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    4. Strulik, Holger & Werner, Katharina, 2021. "Time-inconsistent health behavior and its impact on aging and longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    5. Dalgaard, Carl-Johan & Hansen, Casper Worm & Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Fetal origins: A life cycle model of health and aging from conception to death," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 400, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    6. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Erel, Devin & Strulik, Holger, 2019. "Aging in the USA: Similarities and disparities across time and space," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 384, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    7. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Casper Worm Hansen & Holger Strulik, 2017. "Accounting for Fetal Origins: Health Capital vs. Health Deficits," Discussion Papers 17-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; Aging; Longevity; Marriage gap; Gender-specific preferences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income
    • J26 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Retirement; Retirement Policies
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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