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Personality and Marital Surplus

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  • Shelly Lundberg

Abstract

This paper uses data from the German Socio-economic Panel Study to examine the relationship between psychological traits, in particular personality, and the formation and dissolution of marital and cohabiting partnerships. Changing patterns of selection into and out of relationships indicate that the determinants of marital surplus have altered between older cohorts who were born in the years after World War II and younger cohorts born in the 1960s. For younger cohorts, relationships between personality traits and the probability of marriage are identical for men and women, which is consistent with returns to marriage that are based on joint consumption. Tastes for marital public goods are negatively related to openness to experience (a desire for change and variety) and positively related to conscientiousness for both men and women. Selection into marriage is associated with distinctly different personality profiles for older men and older women, suggesting that gender-specialized contributions to household public goods were an important source of marital surplus for these cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • Shelly Lundberg, 2010. "Personality and Marital Surplus," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 307, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp307
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    Cited by:

    1. Katie R. Genadek & Sarah M. Flood & Joan Garcia Roman, 2016. "Trends in Spouses’ Shared Time in the United States, 1965–2012," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1801-1820, December.
    2. Hani Mansour & Terra McKinnish, 2014. "Couples’ time together: complementarities in production versus complementarities in consumption," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 1127-1144, October.
    3. Melissa Ruby Banzhaf, 2013. "When It Rains It Pours: Under What Circumstances Does Job Loss Lead to Divorce," Working Papers 13-62, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2013. "Determinants of Long-Term Unions: Who Survives the “Seven Year Itch”?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(6), pages 851-891, December.
    5. Cristina Borra & Martin Browning & Almudena Sevilla, 2017. "Marriage and Housework," Working Papers 2017-049, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Lundberg, Shelly, 2013. "Educational Inequality and the Returns to Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 7595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Mikucka, Malgorzata, 2015. "The Life Satisfaction Advantage of Being Married and Gender Specialization," MPRA Paper 59698, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:62:y:2017:i:04:n:s0217590817400252 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," Discussion Papers 100, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    10. Lara Patrício Tavares, 2016. "Who Delays Childbearing? The Associations Between Time to First Birth, Personality Traits and Education," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(4), pages 575-597, October.
    11. Oreffice, Sonia, 2014. "Season of Birth and Marital Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Seth Gershenson & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "Linking Teacher Quality, Student Attendance, and Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(2), pages 125-149, Spring.
    13. Raphaela Hyee, 2011. "Do Marriage Markets Influence the Divorce Hazard?," Working Papers 685, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    14. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168241, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Shelly Lundberg, 2013. "The College Type: Personality and Educational Inequality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 421-441.
    16. Christopher Flinn & Petra Todd & Weilong Zhang, 2017. "Personality Traits, Intra-household Allocation and the Gender Wage Gap," Working Papers 2017-029, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    17. Maria Paola & Francesca Gioia, 2017. "Does patience matter in marriage stability? Some evidence from Italy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 549-577, June.
    18. You, Jing & Yi, Xuejie & Chen, Meng, 2016. "Love, Life, and “Leftover Ladies” in Urban China," MPRA Paper 70494, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Laura Turner & Aloysius Siow & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2014. "Relationship Skills in the Labor and Marriage Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 155, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    20. KURODA Sachiko & YAMAMOTO Isamu, 2016. "Good Boss, Bad Boss, Workers' Mental Health and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 16101, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    21. Mendez, Ildefonso, 2015. "The effect of the intergenerational transmission of noncognitive skills on student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 78-97.
    22. Lundberg, Shelly, 2014. "Skill Disparities and Unequal Family Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8346, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    23. Zhiming Cheng & Russell Smyth, 2015. "China’s Imbalanced Sex Ratio and Satisfaction with Marital Relationships," Monash Economics Working Papers 22-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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