Does marriage make people happy? Alternatively, do happy people get married?

Marriage is one of the most important institutions that affect the lives and welfare of the population. Institutions govern marital sex and encourage engagement between spouses. This commitment has positive effects, for example on the health of the spouses and their outcomes in the labor market.

In this article, we look directly at the effect of marriage on happiness of the spouses, as measured in a survey by the panel width, socioeconomic German group, with data on subjective well-being reported. This allows us to analyze whether marriage makes people happy or whether happy people are more likely to marry. We want to go beyond many previous studies documenting that married people are happier than single and cohabiting (eg, Myers, 1999). We have two main interests in this paper, one objective is to provide systematic evidence that benefits most and who benefits least double. This evidence is used to evaluate the auxiliary hypotheses that are essential in models of the marriage market.
Becker's seminal work on the economics of marriage (1973, 1974) is based on the income of married people get from household production and the division of labor. Other theories focus on the joint consumption of household public goods husband or reciprocity and equality in social relations selective. In this latter
If it is argued that the trend "as married as" facilitates compatibility of the values ​​and beliefs of the spouses. Our empirical analysis studies whether couples with varying degrees of potential and actual labor specialization and roughly difference in education differ systematically in their benefits of marriage.
It is not our intention to recommend that people should or should not marry. Instead, we intend to contribute to the public debate about the value of intact families and lawmakers debate the marriage penalties in the tax code, or the effect of welfare programs and social security on marriage. Moreover, empirical data on the levels of several pairs of utility helps us better understand the sources of well-being in marriage. The empirical analysis is challenged by the question of causality. Does marriage make people happier or marriage is a little more likely that more people happy? The second objective of our analysis is to address the issue of selection. So far no large-scale trials in the role of selection in the relationship between marriage and happiness. In a longitudinal data set, we compared the individual remaining singles with singles who marry later, and people who are already married.
In a panel covering a period of 17 years, we find that the selection of the happiest people in marriage is pronounced by those who marry when they are young and becomes a major issue for that factor marry later in life. In addition, a retrospective evaluation shows that those who divorce and were less happy when they were first married and when they were still alone.
This indicates that the effects of significant selection of people generally less happy in the group of divorced persons.
To investigate the differences between the benefits of marriage, we limit our analysis to individuals who were married during the 17 years of the sampling period. The results show that there are large differences in the benefits of marriage between couples. In addition, most of the additional benefits being reported are experienced in the early years of marriage. Potential and real, the division of labor seems to contribute to the welfare of the spouses, especially for women, and when a young family to raise. However, above the median differences in the level of education of the partners has a negative effect on satisfaction experienced compared with couples with small differences life.

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