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Gender difference in path dependency and spousal bargaining in lifestyle formation: evidence from Korea


  • Bora Kim
  • Nizamul Islam


We investigate a direct spousal influence on individual risky behavior such as sedentariness, smoking and drinking. We also assess its economic importance relative to that of an individual's own path dependency, and we compare the results between women and men. Using the longitudinal data from the Korean Labor & Income Panel Study (KLIPS) from 2005 to 2014, we apply a bivariate dynamic probit model with random effects to control for individual unobserved heterogeneity and contemporaneous shocks that are shared between partners. While prior studies reveal that the spousal spillover effect is muted once assortative mating and shared environment are considered, our results demonstrate that intra-household bargaining still plays a role. We also find that both females and males receive an equivalent magnitude of peer pressure from their spouses regarding sedentariness and drinking. Social learning or altruism explains females' behavior better, whilst path dependency is more pronounced among males. Our findings suggest that healthy lifestyle can be effectively promoted if policies target male populations, considering their stronger addictive tendency. Nonetheless, due to the modest magnitude of spousal peer effect and path dependency, the impact of such an intervention would be limited.

Suggested Citation

  • Bora Kim & Nizamul Islam, 2016. "Gender difference in path dependency and spousal bargaining in lifestyle formation: evidence from Korea," Working Papers of Department of Economics, Leuven 547929, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Department of Economics, Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:547929

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