Marital Histories and Economic Well-Being

44 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008

See all articles by Julie M. Zissimopoulos

Julie M. Zissimopoulos

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy; The RAND Corporation; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Benjamin Karney

RAND Corporation

Amy Rauer

Auburn University

Date Written: December 17, 2008

Abstract

Using panel data from the Health and Retirement Study the authors analyze the impact of a lifetime of marriage events on wealth levels near retirement. They find that unmarried widowed and divorced men and remarried men with more than one past marital disruption have lower housing wealth than continuously married men and women. Both financial and housing wealth are lower for the same marital categories of women. Each year spent married increases wealth by 4 percent. Observable differences in lifetime earnings, pension and Social Security wealth are not enough to explain the large differences in wealth accumulation across marital groups.

Suggested Citation

Zissimopoulos, Julie M. and Karney, Benjamin and Rauer, Amy, Marital Histories and Economic Well-Being (December 17, 2008). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. WP 2008-180, RAND Working Paper No. WR-645, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1287296 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1287296

Julie M. Zissimopoulos (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States

The RAND Corporation ( email )

P.O. Box 2138
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Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
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University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

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Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
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Benjamin Karney

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Amy Rauer

Auburn University ( email )

415 West Magnolia Avenue
Auburn, AL 36849
United States

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