The age U-shape in Europe: the protective role of partnership [report]

Andrew E. Clark, Angela Greulich, Hippolyte d'Albis
2021 unpublished
In this study, we ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfactionand age is flatter for individuals who are partnered. An analysis of cross-sectionalEU-SILC data indicates that the decline in life satisfaction from the teens to thefifties is almost four times larger for non-partnered than for partnered individuals,whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age.However, the same analysis applied to three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP andHILDA)
more » ... SOEP andHILDA) reveals a U-shape for both groups, albeit somewhat flatter for the partneredthan for the non-partnered individuals. We suggest that the difference between thecross-sectional and the panel results reflects compositional effects: i.e., there isa significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. Thesecompositional effects tend to flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered individualsin the cross-sectional data.
doi:10.1553/populationyearbook2021.res3.1 fatcat:hptauchajzd6bhp2d5uteeopzy