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Testing for Utility Interdependence in Marriage: Evidence from Panel Data

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  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper is the first of its kind to study utility interdependence in marriage using information on subjective well-being of a large sample of people living in the UK over the period 1991-2001. Using “residual” self-rated health to provide instrument for spouse’s well-being and allowing controls on individual fixed effects, we find strong evidence of altruism represented by interdependent relationships in the reported well-being found only among spouses, and not by partners in cohabiting union. Panel data also show that the well-being impact resulting from “caring” can be used to predict future income, unemployment, and marital status for the individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2004. "Testing for Utility Interdependence in Marriage: Evidence from Panel Data," Labor and Demography 0403037, EconWPA, revised 01 Apr 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0403037
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 43
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cahit Guven & Claudia Senik & Holger Stichnoth, 2011. "You can't be happier than your wife. Happiness Gaps and Divorce," Working Papers halshs-00555427, HAL.
    2. Inmaculada García & José Molina & María Navarro, 2007. "How Satisfied are Spouses with their Leisure Time? Evidence from Europe," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 546-565, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Luis Angeles, 2008. "Adaption or social comparison? The effects of income on happiness," Working Papers 2009_09, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jun 2009.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    happiness; altruism; marriage; interdependent utility;

    JEL classification:

    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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