IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp11043.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Subjective Well-Being and Partnership Dynamics: Are Same-Sex Relationships Different?

Author

Listed:
  • Chen, Shuai

    (LISER)

  • van Ours, Jan C.

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Partnered individuals are happier than singles. This can be because partnership leads to more satisfactory subjective well-being or because happier people are more likely to find a partner. We analyze Dutch panel data to investigate whether there is a causal effect of partnership on subjective well-being. Our data allow us to distinguish between marriage and cohabitation and between same-sex partnerships and opposite-sex ones. Our results support the short-term crisis model and adaptation theory. We find that marital partnership improves well-being and that these benefits are homogeneous to sexual orientation. The well-being gains of marriage are larger than those of cohabitation. Investigating partnership formation and disruption, we discover that the well-being effects are symmetric. Finally, we find that marriage improves well-being for both younger and older cohorts while cohabitation only benefits younger cohort.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2017. "Subjective Well-Being and Partnership Dynamics: Are Same-Sex Relationships Different?," IZA Discussion Papers 11043, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11043
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://docs.iza.org/dp11043.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sheela Kennedy & Steven Ruggles, 2014. "Breaking Up Is Hard to Count: The Rise of Divorce in the United States, 1980–2010," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 587-598, April.
    2. Clark, Andrew E. & Etile, Fabrice, 2006. "Don't give up on me baby: Spousal correlation in smoking behaviour," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 958-978, September.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, december.
    4. Carpenter, Christopher S., 2007. "Revisiting the income penalty for behaviorally gay men: Evidence from NHANES III," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 25-34, January.
    5. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
    6. Erik Plug & Dinand Webbink & Nick Martin, 2014. "Sexual Orientation, Prejudice, and Segregation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 123-159.
    7. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
    8. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    9. McCabe, S.E. & Bostwick, W.B. & Hughes, T.L. & West, B.T. & Boyd, C.J., 2010. "The relationship between discrimination and substance use disorders among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 100(10), pages 1946-1952.
    10. Hatzenbuehler, M.L. & McLaughlin, K.A. & Keyes, K.M. & Hasin, D.S., 2010. "The impact of institutional discrimination on psychiatric disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: A prospective study," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 100(3), pages 452-459.
    11. Kohn, Jennifer L. & Averett, Susan L., 2014. "The effect of relationship status on health with dynamic health and persistent relationships," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 69-83.
    12. Wilson, Chris M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence," Economic Research Papers 269622, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
    13. M. V. Lee Badgett, 1995. "The Wage Effects of Sexual Orientation Discrimination," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(4), pages 726-739, July.
    14. Richard Lucas & Andrew Clark, 2006. "Do People Really Adapt To Marriage?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 405-426, November.
    15. Susan Averett & Laura Argys & Julia Sorkin, 2013. "In sickness and in health: an examination of relationship status and health using data from the Canadian National Public Health Survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 599-633, December.
    16. Michael, Robert T., 2004. "Sexual capital: an extension of Grossman's concept of health capital," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 643-652, July.
    17. Waldron, Ingrid & Hughes, Mary Elizabeth & Brooks, Tracy L., 1996. "Marriage protection and marriage selection--Prospective evidence for reciprocal effects of marital status and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 113-123, July.
    18. Gunnar Andersson & Turid Noack & Ane Seierstad & Harald Weedon-Fekjær, 2006. "The demographics of same-sex marriages in Norway and Sweden," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(1), pages 79-98, February.
    19. Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 1996. "Marital status and mortality: The role of health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 33(3), pages 313-327, August.
    20. Carol Graham & Lucas Higuera & Eduardo Lora, 2011. "Which health conditions cause the most unhappiness?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(12), pages 1431-1447, December.
    21. Sandfort, T.G.M. & Bakker, F. & Schellevis, F.G. & Vanwesenbeeck, I., 2006. "Sexual orientation and mental and physical health status: Findings from a Dutch population survey," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 96(6), pages 1119-1125.
    22. Clark, Andrew E. & Etilé, Fabrice, 2011. "Happy house: Spousal weight and individual well-being," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1124-1136.
    23. Huebner, D.M. & Rebchook, G.M. & Kegeles, S.M., 2004. "Experiences of harassment, discrimination, and physical violence among young gay and bisexual men," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 94(7), pages 1200-1203.
    24. Bruce Elmslie & Edinaldo Tebaldi, 2007. "Sexual Orientation and Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 436-453, July.
    25. Mays, V.M. & Cochran, S.D., 2001. "Mental health correlates of perceived discrimination among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 91(11), pages 1869-1876.
    26. Erik Plug & Peter Berkhout, 2004. "Effects of sexual preferences on earnings in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 117-131, February.
    27. Bruce Chapman & Cahit Guven, 2016. "Revisiting the Relationship Between Marriage and Wellbeing: Does Marriage Quality Matter?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 533-551, April.
    28. Jonathan Vespa, 2012. "Union Formation in Later Life: Economic Determinants of Cohabitation and Remarriage Among Older Adults," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 1103-1125, August.
    29. Umberson, Debra, 1992. "Gender, marital status and the social control of health behavior," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 907-917, April.
    30. Suzanne Heller Clain & Karen Leppel, 2001. "An investigation into sexual orientation discrimination as an explanation for wage differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 37-47.
    31. Dan A. Black & Hoda R. Makar & Seth G. Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2003. "The Earnings Effects of Sexual Orientation," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 449-469, April.
    32. Bridget Gorman & Justin Denney & Hilary Dowdy & Rose Medeiros, 2015. "A New Piece of the Puzzle: Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Physical Health Status," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1357-1382, August.
    33. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 11-26, Part II, .
    34. Strohschein, Lisa & McDonough, Peggy & Monette, Georges & Shao, Qing, 2005. "Marital transitions and mental health: Are there gender differences in the short-term effects of marital status change?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(11), pages 2293-2303, December.
    35. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, July.
    36. Sylvia A. Allegretto & Michelle M. Arthur, 2001. "An Empirical Analysis of Homosexual/Heterosexual Male Earnings Differentials: Unmarried and Unequal?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 631-646, April.
    37. Buser, Thomas & Geijtenbeek, Lydia & Plug, Erik, 2015. "Do Gays Shy Away from Competition? Do Lesbians Compete Too Much?," IZA Discussion Papers 9382, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    38. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gupta, Sumedha, 2015. "The role of marriage in the causal pathway from economic conditions early in life to mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 141-158.
    39. Mir Ali & Olugbenga Ajilore, 2011. "Can Marriage Reduce Risky Health Behavior for African-Americans?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 191-203, June.
    40. Susan L. Brown & Gary R. Lee & Jennifer Roebuck Bulanda, 2006. "Cohabitation Among Older Adults: A National Portrait," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 61(2), pages 71-79.
    41. Eleonora Patacchini & Giuseppe Ragusa & Yves Zenou, 2015. "Unexplored dimensions of discrimination in Europe: homosexuality and physical appearance," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1045-1073, October.
    42. Nathan Berg & Donald Lien, 2002. "Measuring The Effect Of Sexual Orientation On Income: Evidence Of Discrimination?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 394-414, October.
    43. Jennifer Kohn & Susan Averett, 2014. "Can’t We Just Live Together? New Evidence on the Effect of Relationship Status on Health," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 295-312, September.
    44. Monden, Christiaan W. S. & van Lenthe, Frank & De Graaf, Nan Dirk & Kraaykamp, Gerbert, 2003. "Partner's and own education: does who you live with matter for self-assessed health, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(10), pages 1901-1912, November.
    45. Wight, R.G. & LeBlanc, A.J. & Lee Badgett, M.V., 2013. "Same-sex legal marriage and psychological well-being: Findings from the California health interview survey," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 103(2), pages 339-346.
    46. Marieka M. Klawitter & Victor Flatt, 1998. "The effects of state and local antidiscrimination policies on earnings for gays and lesbians," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(4), pages 658-686.
    47. Gruskin, E.P. & Hart, S. & Gordon, N. & Ackerson, L., 2001. "Patterns of cigarette smoking and alcohol use among lesbians and bisexual women enrolled in a large health maintenance organization," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 91(6), pages 976-979.
    48. Greg Duncan & Bessie Wilkerson & Paula England, 2006. "Cleaning up their act: The effects of marriage and cohabitation on licit and illicit drug use," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(4), pages 691-710, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Shuai Chen & Jan van Ours, 2021. "Mental Health Effects of Same-Sex Marriage Legalization," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 21-003/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    2. Chen, Shuai & van Ours, Jan C., 2020. "Symbolism matters: The effect of same-sex marriage legalization on partnership stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 178(C), pages 44-58.
    3. Michiel Slag & Martijn J. Burger & Ruut Veenhoven, 2019. "Did the Easterlin Paradox apply in South Korea between 1980 and 2015? A case study," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 66(4), pages 325-351, December.
    4. Alexa Solazzo & Bridget Gorman & Justin Denney, 2020. "Does Sexual Orientation Complicate the Relationship Between Marital Status and Gender With Self-rated Health and Cardiovascular Disease?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(2), pages 599-626, April.
    5. Delhommer, Scott M. & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2020. "Same-Sex Couples and the Marital Surplus: The Importance of the Legal Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 13061, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Jan C. van Ours, 2021. "What a drag it is getting old? Mental health and loneliness beyond age 50," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(31), pages 3563-3576, July.
    7. Chen, Shuai, 2019. "Marriage, minorities, and mass movements," Other publications TiSEM 9cb1b11d-12e6-46a8-adca-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Shuai Chen & Jan C. van Ours, 2022. "Mental health effects of same‐sex marriage legalization," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 42-56, January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chen, Shuai, 2019. "Marriage, minorities, and mass movements," Other publications TiSEM 9cb1b11d-12e6-46a8-adca-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    2. Maryam Dilmaghani, 2018. "Sexual Orientation, Labour Earnings, and Household Income in Canada," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 41-55, March.
    3. Rong Fu & Haruko Noguchi, 2018. "Does the positive relationship between health and marriage reflect protection or selection? Evidence from middle-aged and elderly Japanese," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 1003-1016, December.
    4. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2013. "Discrimination in gay and lesbian lives," Chapters, in: Deborah M. Figart & Tonia L. Warnecke (ed.), Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 15, pages 236-254, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Corinne Reczek & Hui Liu & Dustin Brown, 2014. "Cigarette Smoking in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Unions: The Role of Socioeconomic and Psychological Factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(4), pages 527-551, August.
    6. Uhrig, S.C. Noah, 2014. "An examination of poverty and sexual orientation in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    7. Karen Leppel, 2016. "The incidence of self-employment by sexual orientation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 347-363, March.
    8. Sansone, Dario, 2019. "Pink work: Same-sex marriage, employment and discrimination," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    9. Jepsen, Christopher & Jepsen, Lisa K., 2009. "Does home ownership vary by sexual orientation?," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 307-315, May.
    10. Josef Montag, 2015. "What Drives the Gender Gap? An Analysis Using Sexual Orientation," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 577-608, November.
    11. Thierry Laurent & Ferhat Mihoubi, 2012. "Sexual Orientation and Wage Discrimination in France: The Hidden Side of the Rainbow," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 487-527, December.
    12. Geijtenbeek, Lydia & Plug, Erik, 2015. "Is There a Penalty for Becoming a Woman? Is There a Premium for Becoming a Man? Evidence from a Sample of Transsexual Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 9077, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Geijtenbeek, Lydia & Plug, Erik, 2018. "Is there a penalty for registered women? Is there a premium for registered men? Evidence from a sample of transsexual workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 334-347.
    14. Bünnings, Christian & Hafner, Lucas & Reif, Simon & Tauchmann, Harald, 2021. "In sickness and in health? Health shocks and relationship breakdown: Empirical evidence from Germany," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 164-190.
    15. Madeline Zavodny, 2008. "Is there a ‘marriage premium’ for gay men?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 369-389, December.
    16. Doris Weichselbaumer, 2015. "Testing for Discrimination against Lesbians of Different Marital Status: A Field Experiment," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 131-161, January.
    17. Christafore, David & Leguizamon, Sebastian, 2012. "Earnings differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals and the effects of anti-discriminatory laws: equal but still unmarried," MPRA Paper 45267, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Nick Drydakis, 2009. "Sexual Orientation, Demography and Labor Relations," Working Papers 0906, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    19. G. Miller & Yuriy Pylypchuk, 2014. "Marital Status, Spousal Characteristics, and the Use of Preventive Care," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 323-338, September.
    20. Kazuma Sato, 2020. "Does marriage improve subjective health in Japan?," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 71(2), pages 247-286, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    subjective well-being; happiness; marriage; cohabitation; sexual orientation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11043. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/izaaade.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.