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The Marriage Gap: Optimal Aging and Death in Partnerships

Johannes Schuenemann, Holger Strulik () and Timo Trimborn ()
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Johannes Schuenemann: University of Goettingen

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Johannes Schünemann ()

Review of Economic Dynamics, 2020, vol. 36, 158-176

Abstract: In this paper we explore how marriage affects longevity of men and women through income pooling and public-goods sharing as well as joint utility maximization of partners with different preferences and biology. We integrate joint decision making of couples into a biologically founded life-cycle model of health deficit accumulation and endogenous longevity, calibrate the model with U.S. data, and perform the counterfactual experiment of preventing the partnership. We elaborate four economic channels and find that, as singles, men live 8.5 months shorter and women 6 months longer. We conclude that about 25% 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. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Keywords: Health; Aging; Longevity; Marriage gap; Gender-specific preferences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 J17 J26 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2019.09.004
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DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2019.09.004

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