Just a piece of paper? The effect of marriage on health
There is extensive evidence that married people are, on average, healthier than their unmarried counterparts. It is unclear how much this positive correlation can be explained by the selection of healthier people into marriage. In this paper, I estimate the effect of marriage relative to cohabitation on health and disability. I control for selection into marriage by instrumenting marital status using state and time variation in marriage tax penalties. After controlling for selection, low education men benefit from marriage whilst all other men are no better off if married. For women with more than high school education, marriage increases the probability of reporting a health problem.
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