We use a sample of married couples interviewed between 1996 and 2010 for the Health and Retirement Study to investigate the impact of health shocks on marital stability. We find suggestive evidence that health shocks are associated with a greater likelihood of divorce or separation. In exploring gender differences, we find strong evidence that the risk of marital disruption increases with a wife-specific health shock only. Marriages in which wives experience a health shock have a 1.5 percentage point increased likelihood of failing. This is an increased risk of divorce of about 30 percent. We find no such effect when a husband has a health shock. Further investigation suggests the gender differential we observe may be economically motivated as our results are driven by households where one or both spouses are in the labor force and those at the top quartile of wealth.
Yaa Akosa Antwi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She received her PhD in Applied Economics and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 2010. Her research has focused on how reimbursement incentives affect hospital and physician behavior and the impact of health insurance expansions on coverage and use of medical care. Her research has received support by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Upjohn Institute.
|April 17, 2015||Presentation by Mohammad Ali|
|May 1, 2015||Presentation by Michael Hensley|
|April 20, 2015||Economics of Marijuana|
|April 29, 2015||Induction Ceremony/Announcement of 2015-2016 Officers|
|May 9, 2015||Economics Department Convocation|
If you are an undergraduate student interested in majoring or minoring in Economics please subscribe to our listserve at econmajors-L.
If you are a graduate student please make sure that you are subscribed to the graduate student listserve to stay on top of news and announcements, econgrad-L.
To do this please: