Does Marriage Make People Happy, or Do Happy People Get Married?
University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics
Bruno S. Frey
CREMA; University of Basel
IZA Discussion Paper No. 1811
This paper analyzes the causal relationships between marriage and subjective well-being in a longitudinal data set spanning 17 years. We find evidence that happier singles opt more likely for marriage and that there are large differences in the benefits from marriage between couples. Potential, as well as actual, division of labor seems to contribute to spouses' well-being, especially for women and when there is a young family to raise. In contrast, large differences in the partners' educational level have a negative effect on experienced life satisfaction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: division of labor, marriage, selection, subjective well-being
JEL Classification: D13, I31, J12
Date posted: November 10, 2005