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The Life Satisfaction Advantage of Being Married and Gender Specialization

Mikucka, Malgorzata (2015): The Life Satisfaction Advantage of Being Married and Gender Specialization.

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Abstract

This investigation examined whether the life satisfaction advantage of married over unmarried persons decreased over the last three decades, and whether the changes in the contextual gender specialization explained this trend. The author used representative data from the World Values Survey–European Values Study (WVS–EVS)-integrated data set for 87 countries (N = 292,525) covering a period of 29 years. Results showed that the life satisfaction advantage of being married decreased among men but not among women. The analysis did not support the hypothesis that contextual gender specialization shaped the observed trend. Only in developed countries the declining contextual specialization correlated with smaller life satisfaction advantage of being married. This evidence suggests that the advantages of marriage are greater under conditions that support freedom of choice rather than economic necessity.

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