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Is it Money or Marriage that Keeps People Alive?

Author

Listed:
  • Oswald, Andrew

    (University of Warwick)

  • Jonathan Gardner

Abstract

It is believed that the length of a person's life depends on a mixture of economic and social factors. Yet the relative importance of these is still debated. We provide evidence in this paper that marriage has a much more important (positive) effect on longevity than high income does. For men, it almost exactly offsets the large negative effect of smoking. Economics, however, plays little or no role. After controlling for health at the start of the 1990s, we find no reliable evidence that income affects the probability of death over the subsequent decade.

Suggested Citation

  • Oswald, Andrew & Jonathan Gardner, 2003. "Is it Money or Marriage that Keeps People Alive?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 161, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2003:161
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2004. "Testing for Utility Interdependence in Marriage: Evidence from Panel Data," Economic Research Papers 269599, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Adeline Delavande & Michael Perry & Robert Willis, 2006. "Probabilistic Thinking and Early Social Security Claiming," Working Papers wp129, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    mortality; health; income; marriage;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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