Do You Really Want to Share Everything? The Wellbeing of Work-Linked Couples

52 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2021

See all articles by Juliane Hennecke

Juliane Hennecke

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg; Auckland University of Technology

Clemens Hetschko

University of Leeds - Economics Department; Free University of Berlin (FUB)

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Date Written: 2021


Work as well as family life are crucial sources of human wellbeing, which however often interfere. This is especially so if partners work in the same occupation or industry. At the same time, being work-linked may benefit their career success. Still, surprisingly little is known about the wellbeing of work-linked couples. Our study fills this gap by examining the satisfaction differences between work-linked and non-work-linked partners. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP, 2019), we estimate the effect of working in the same occupation and/or industry on life satisfaction as well as satisfaction with four areas of life: income, work, family and leisure. In the process, we employ pooled OLS estimations and instrumental variable strategies, for instance based on the gender disparity in industries and occupations. Our results suggest that being work-linked increases satisfaction with life as well as income and job satisfaction. These findings are consistent with positive assortative matching and mutual career support between work-linked partners. Our conclusions concern hiring couples as a means of recruiting exceptional talent.

JEL Classification: I310, J120, J210, J440, M510

Suggested Citation

Hennecke, Juliane and Hetschko, Clemens, Do You Really Want to Share Everything? The Wellbeing of Work-Linked Couples (2021). CESifo Working Paper No. 8994, Available at SSRN: or

Juliane Hennecke (Contact Author)

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg ( email )


Auckland University of Technology ( email )

AUT City Campus
Private Bag 92006
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

Clemens Hetschko

University of Leeds - Economics Department ( email )

Leeds, LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Free University of Berlin (FUB) ( email )

Van't-Hoff-Str. 8
Berlin, Berlin 14195

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