Both men and women appear to benefit from being married. This article uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the extent to which three key factors — financial well-being, living arrangements, and marital history — account for this relationship. The authors model mortality using a flexible hazard model and find that both married men and women show substantially lower risks of dying than those who are not married. The study's results suggest that — for women, but not for men — the improved financial well-being that often accompanies marriage accounts for much of its beneficial effect. For both husbands and wives the benefits from marriage appear to cumulate as the length of the union increases.
Originally published in: American Journal of Sociology, v. 100, no. 5, March 1995, pp. 1131-1156.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.