We analyze Dutch panel data to investigate whether partnership has a causal effect on subjective well-being. As in previous studies, we find that, on average, being in a partnership improves well-being. Well-being gains of marriage are larger than those of cohabitation. The well-being effects of partnership formation and disruption are symmetric. We also find that marriage improves well-being for both younger and older cohorts, whereas cohabitation benefits only the younger cohort. Our main contribution to the literature is on well-being effects of same-sex partnerships. We find that these effects are homogeneous to sexual orientation. Gender differences exist in the well-being effects of same-sex partnerships: females are happier cohabiting, whereas marriage has a stronger well-being effect on males.

, , , ,
doi.org/10.1007/s13524-018-0725-0, hdl.handle.net/1765/111919
Erasmus School of Economics

Chen, S. (Shuai), & van Ours, J. (2018). Subjective Well-being and Partnership Dynamics: Are Same-Sex Relationships Different?. Demography. doi:10.1007/s13524-018-0725-0