How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence

32 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2005  

Chris M. Wilson

School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: June 2005

Abstract

This paper examines an accumulating modern literature on the health benefits of relationships like marriage. Although much remains to be understood about the physiological channels, we draw the judgment, after looking across many journals and disciplines, that there is persuasive longitudinal evidence for such effects. The size of the health gain from marriage is remarkable. It may be as large as the benefit from giving up smoking.

Keywords: mortality, health, marriage, happiness, longitudinal

JEL Classification: I0, I12

Suggested Citation

Wilson, Chris M. and Oswald, Andrew J., How Does Marriage Affect Physical and Psychological Health? A Survey of the Longitudinal Evidence (June 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1619. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=735205

Chris M. Wilson

School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University ( email )

Loughborough, LE11 3TU
Great Britain

Andrew J. Oswald (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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