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The empirical content of marital surplus in matching models

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Publication details

JournalEconomics Letters
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Dec 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2019
Pages (from-to)51-54
Early online date6/01/19
Original languageEnglish


This note investigates the extent to which structural estimates of marital surplus are informative about subjective well-being and separation. We estimate marital surplus using a matching model á la Choo and Siow (2006) on a rich German panel dataset. We show that separation is negatively correlated with the estimated marital surplus, households’ total subjective life satisfaction is negatively correlated with unequal sharing of the surplus whereas the difference in spouses’ subjective satisfaction is negatively correlated with the marital surplus but positively correlated with unequal sharing.

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