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Subjective Well-being and Partnership Dynamics; Are Same-sex Relationships Different?

Shuai Chen and Jan C. van Ours

No 12320, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: Partnered individuals are happier than singles. This can be because partnership leads to more satisfactory subjective well-being or because happier people are more likely to find a partner. We analyze Dutch panel data to investigate whether there is a causal effect of partnership on subjective well-being. Our data allow us to distinguish between marriage and cohabitation and between same-sex partnerships and opposite-sex ones. Our results support the short-term crisis model and adaptation theory. We find that marital partnership improves well-being and that these benefits are homogeneous to sexual orientation. The well-being gains of marriage are larger than those of cohabitation. Investigating partnership formation and disruption, we discover that the well-being effects are symmetric. Finally, we find that marriage improves well-being for both younger and older cohorts while cohabitation only benefits younger cohort.

Keywords: Cohabitation; Happiness; Marriage; Sexual orientation; Subjective well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap
Date: 2017-09
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