IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pra/mprapa/73868.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the relationship between BMI and marital dissolution

Author

Listed:
  • Bellido, Héctor
  • Marcén, Miriam

Abstract

The evolution of marital dissolutions has prompted researchers and policymakers to study their causes and consequences. While the effects of changes in the relationship status on the Body Mass Index (BMI) have been thoroughly documented (Selection, Protection, Social Obligation, and Marriage Market hypotheses), much less work has been done to analyze the impact of changes in the BMI on the probability of marital dissolution. We take advantage of the richness of the data on (pre) marital and biological history from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 79 (NLSY79) to estimate the effect of BMI on marital stability, following an Instrumental Variable approach. We find a small, but statistically-significant, negative effect of this indicator of health on the likelihood of marital dissolution. Supplemental analysis reveals that this effect depends on the category to which people belong according to their BMI (underweight, normal weight, and overweight-obese), and on their race.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2016. "On the relationship between BMI and marital dissolution," MPRA Paper 73868, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:73868
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/73868/1/MPRA_paper_73868.pdf
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    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. 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.
    3. Corak, Miles, 2001. "Death and Divorce: The Long-Term Consequences of Parental Loss on Adolescents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(3), pages 682-715, July.
    4. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/GMM estimation and testing," CERT Discussion Papers 0706, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    5. Adam Isen & Betsey Stevenson, 2010. "Women's Education and Family Behavior: Trends in Marriage, Divorce and Fertility," NBER Chapters,in: Demography and the Economy, pages 107-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Evelyn Lehrer, 2008. "Age at marriage and marital instability: revisiting the Becker–Landes–Michael hypothesis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(2), pages 463-484, April.
    7. Wilson, Chris M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 1619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Arnstein Aassve, 2003. "The role of income in marriage and divorce transitions among young Americans," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(3), pages 455-475, August.
    9. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/generalized method of moments estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 465-506, December.
    10. Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2010. "Anthropometry and socioeconomics among couples: Evidence in the United States," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 373-384, December.
    11. Leora Friedberg, 1998. "Did Unilateral Divorce Raise Divorce Rates? Evidence from Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 6398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sobal, Jeffery & Rauschenbach, Barbara & Frongillo, Edward A., 2003. "Marital status changes and body weight changes: a US longitudinal analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(7), pages 1543-1555, April.
    13. Wilson, Sven E., 2012. "Marriage, gender and obesity in later life," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 431-453.
    14. Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Did Unilateral Divorce Laws Raise Divorce Rates? A Reconciliation and New Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1802-1820, December.
    15. Michael Malcolm & Ilker Kaya, 2016. "Selection works both ways: BMI and marital formation among young women," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 293-311, June.
    16. Averett, Susan L. & Sikora, Asia & Argys, Laura M., 2008. "For better or worse: Relationship status and body mass index," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 330-349, December.
    17. Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.
    18. Kinge, Jonas Minet & Morris, Stephen, 2014. "Variation in the relationship between BMI and survival by socioeconomic status in Great Britain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 67-82.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Body Mass Index; Health; Divorce; Family economics;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • 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:pra:mprapa:73868. 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: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.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 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.

    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.