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The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership

Abstract : We here ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfaction and age is flatter for those who are partnered. This is the case in cross-section EU-SILC data, where the drop in life satisfaction from the teens to the 50s is almost four times larger for the non-partnered than for the partnered, whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age. However, the same analysis in three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP and HILDA) reveals a U-shape for both marital groups, although still somewhat flatter for the partnered than for the non-partnered. We suggest that the difference between the cross-section and panel results reflects compositional effects: there is in particular a significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. These composition effects will flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered in cross-section data.
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Contributor : Caroline Bauer <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 4:21:49 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 11:08:58 AM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-02872212, version 1


Andrew E. Clark, Hippolyte d'Albis, Angela Greulich. The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership. 2020. ⟨halshs-02872212⟩



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