The marriage gap: Optimal aging and death in partnerships

Author
Schünemann, Johannes · Strulik, Holger · Trimborn, Timo
Published 2017
  See all Details

Abstract

Married people live longer than singles but how much of the longevity differential is causal and what the particular mechanisms are is not fully understood. In this paper we propose a new approach, based on counterfactual computational experiments, in order to asses how much of the marriage gap can be explained by public-goods sharing and collective bargaining of partners with different preferences and biology. For that purpose we integrate cooperative decision making of a couple into a biologically-founded life-cycle model of health deficit accumulation and endogenous longevity. We calibrate the model with U.S. data and perform the counterfactual experiment of preventing the partnership. We elaborate three economic channels and find that, as singles, men live 8.5 months shorter and women 6 months longer. We conclude that about 30% of the marriage gain in longevity of men can be motivated by economic calculus while the marriage gain for women observed in the data is attributed to selection or other (non-standard economic) motives.

Reviews

Write Review

Saving... Saving... Cancel Save Cancel

Details

Title
The marriage gap: Optimal aging and death in partnerships
Author
Schünemann, Johannes · Strulik, Holger · Trimborn, Timo
Year
2017
Published
2017
Type
Research Paper
Keywords
Health · Aging · Longevity · Marriage-gap · Gender-specific Preferences · Unhealthy Behavior · Intertemporal Consumer Choice · Life Cycle Models And Saving · Value Of Life · Forgone Income · Retirement · Retirement Policies · Health Production
This is Version 1 of this record. We added this version on May 7, 2017. This version is based on an original data import from RePEc.