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Love Actually?

Dissecting the Marriage-Happiness Relationship
Donata Bessey∗ July 18, 2012

Yonsei University, School of Government and Business, Department of Economics, 1 Yonseidae-gil, 220-778 Wonju, Republic of Korea, dbessey@yonsei.ac.kr. I thank Simon Janssen, Taejeong Lee, Kimiko Osawa and Ines Pelger as well as session participants at the 2011 annual meeting of the Canadian Economics Association, at the 2012 annual meeting of the Korean Association for Applied Economics and seminar participants at Yonsei University for helpful comments.

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Abstract Using theoretical concepts based on identity economics, this paper empirically tests the idea that adherence to social norms to get married can provide an additional utility gain from marriage. Norms to get married should be stronger among more traditionalist individuals, so they should put more emphasis on the mere fact of getting married and put less emphasis on match quality. In line with those theoretical predictions, marital satisfaction increases utility for nontraditionalist individuals, while traditionalists seem to be in marriages with lower match quality. The mere fact of being married is associated with lower happiness when controlling for marital satisfaction for non-traditionalists, but there seems to be an identity-based happiness gain from marriage for traditionalist individuals. These findings can be interpreted as evidence for identity-based utility effects from marriage. JEL classification: I31, J12 Keywords: Marriage, subjective well-being, identity

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Motivation

One of the most pervasive findings from empirical happiness research is the positive relationship between marital status and happiness: married people are found to be happier than singles, divorce(e)s, separated and widowed individuals in a considerable number of previous studies. See, for example, Diener et al. (1999) for a review of the psychological literature on research in subjective well-being, or Frey and Stutzer (2002) for a review of the economic literature. Most papers provide an explanation of the benefits from marriage in terms of specialization of partners, mutual support and companionship, or the provision of services for which there are no or imperfect markets (Kohler et al. 2005). However, there might also be another source of beneficial effects from marriage: social norms to marry and the resulting relief once one has complied with the norms and is married. Morgan and Berkowitz King (2001) discuss the importance of marriage as a social norm in the context of fertility decisions. From an economic point of view, this relates to recent research on identity economics (Akerlof and Kranton 2000). In this paper, I test the hypothesis that there are additional benefits from marriage because of the existence of social norms using data from the 2006 East Asian Social Survey (EASS), including data from Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Despite important differences between the countries, traditional values in all East Asian countries are deeply influenced by Confucian thought (Chang 1997), and its principles are still present in everyday life (Tu 1996). The Con-

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Therefore. it is the worst crime against filial piety to not leave any posterity (Tang 1995). with resulting strong prescriptions to marry and continue the family line. most sharply in Japan) and cohabitation is a relatively unknown phenomenon (Jones 2004). In this paper. one would expect an additional positive effect of the mere fact of being married for them because they have complied with social norms. I empirically test the relationship between traditional values and different possible happiness effects of marriage. but not the mere fact of being married. the most important Confucian philosopher after Confucius himself. because traditionalists should put more emphasis on the simple fact of being married and probably put less emphasis on the quality of the match with their spouse. I find indeed that marital satisfaction. especially for traditionalist individuals. In line with the theoretical predictions. has a positive effect on happiness for non-traditionalists. Compared to. one of the five human relations in Confucian thought. This suggests that social norms to marry are still relatively strong in East Asian countries and that there might be the possibility of identity-based utility gains from marriage. However. Assuming that social norms to marry are stronger among more traditionalist individuals. European countries. I do not expect a positive effect stemming from marital satisfaction on happiness for them. This emphasis is an implication of filial piety.fucianist cultures of East Asia place a special emphasis on the family (Lee 1989). for example. and traditionalists seem to be 4 . marriage rates are still comparatively high (although declining. According to Mencius. marriage as the only means of fathering legitimate posterity is given special prominence in all countries influenced by Confucian thought.

while it has a positive albeit statistically insignificant effect on happiness for traditionalists. or an individual’s sense of self. controlling for marital satisfaction. and show how identity. how the individual’s characteristics match that category’s ideals. I assume that there are two different social categories Ci : traditionalists (type A). the simple fact of being married has a negative effect on happiness for non-traditionalists. and non-traditionalists (type B). The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. These findings suggest that there are indeed identity-based utility gains for traditionalists. I also find that. part 4 outlines the estimation strategy and presents estimation results. part 3 introduces the data set. there are two different prescriptions or sets of behaviors Pi con5 . However. and how the individual’s and other society members’ actions correspond to the set of behaviors for the assigned category. matters for economic outcomes. Finally. the regressor capturing the fact of being married and the interaction term for being a married traditionalist are highly significant together.more likely to be in marriages with worse match quality as measured by lower marital satisfaction. Correspondingly. describes the regressors used in the empirical analysis and provides some interesting descriptive statistics. 2 Theoretical Considerations Akerlof and Kranton (2000) introduced the concept of identity into economic theory. and part 5 concludes. Part 2 presents theoretical considerations. The model assumes that identity depends on an individual’s assigned social category. Following their terminology.

Akerlof and Kranton incorporate identity into the following utility function: Uj = Uj (aj . a−j denotes the vector of other society members’ actions. while type B individuals do not have this expectation. mutual support and companionship. For the sake of simplicity. or the provision of services for which there are no or imperfect markets (Kohler et al. aj denotes the vector of one’s own actions . Let aj denote this utility component. Ij ) (1) In this utility function. with our behavior of interest being the decision to get married.sidered to be appropriate for members of the categories. 2005). Because the prescription to get married should be much stronger among traditionalists. Our action aj of interest is the decision to get married.e.. All individuals choose whether to get married or not. Let Pa denote the prescriptions for the traditionalists. but also through Ij if an individual acts in accordance with his or her identity. a−j . specialization of partners. and Ij denotes an individual’s identity. i. The identity-derived component affects utility through approval or disapproval from individuals of the same social category (a−j ). Assume further that type A individuals’ expectations towards others include to comply with the social norm to get married. tradi- 6 . and Pb the prescriptions for the non-traditionalists. The marriage-derived utility component includes the familiar explanations for the utility-increasing characteristics of marriage. assume that marriage increases utility through two channels: a marriage-derived utility component and an identity-derived utility component.

but because they do not have the prescription to get married. For the second category. they should not derive utility from the fact of being married: ∂Uj /∂aj > 0 and ∂Uj /∂a−j . married traditionalists should derive utility from the fact of being married. I expect the following. and secondly. ∂Uj /∂Ij = 0. non-married traditionalists should derive disutility from the fact of not being married. Nontraditionalists’ social norms do not include the prescription to marry. leading to the following predictions: ∂Uj /∂aj > 0 (if they are in a relationship) or ∂Uj /∂aj = 0 (if they are single) and ∂Uj /∂a−j . On the other hand. ∂Uj /∂Ij > 0. 7 . ∂Uj /∂Ij = 0. Hence. derive less utility through the channel of marital satisfaction. there should be a difference between singles or divorce(e)s and cohabiting ones. they should. they should not derive any disutility from their nonmarried status. they should derive utility from their marriage. While the first two categories should not derive any relationship-related utility. and I expect ∂Uj /∂aj = 0 (because they are not married) and ∂Uj /∂a−j . so they should only marry if they have found a partner with sufficiently good match quality. the cohabiting ones should. as they do not care about the prescription to marry. These theoretical considerations can be summarized in the following table. for non-married non-traditionalists.tionalists should probably put more emphasis on the mere fact of getting married and put less emphasis on the quality of the match with their spouse. compared to non-traditionalists. This should lead to the following two predictions: firstly. Because of better match quality. ceteris paribus. However. with the expected signs of the partial derivatives written over the arguments in the identity-augmented utility function. the non-traditionalists. Finally. ∂Uj /∂Ij < 0. I expect ∂Uj /∂aj = 0 and ∂Uj /∂a−j .

For the empirical analysis of the relationship between marriage.1 Core Independent Variables The three core independent variables and their interactions are used to test the theoretical predictions that marital status should have different effects on happiness for non-traditionalists and for traditionalists. Participating countries include the People’s Republic of China. and that nontraditionalists and traditionalists should be in marriages with different match 8 . the data set consists of n = 5442 individuals. Because the happiness question was asked with a different wording in the PR China.[Insert Table 1 about here] The next section introduces the data set and provides some interesting descriptive statistics. identity and happiness. Complete summary statistics are provided in Appendix A. 3. I provide a short introduction of the data set that I use for the empirical analysis. I could use only the observations from the latter three countries.1 After dropping observations with missing values. as well as some descriptive statistics. Japan. 3 Data set and descriptive statistics In this section. I use the 2006 East Asian Social Survey (EASS). the Republic of Korea and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

gender roles (e.g.quality. living separated and intending to get a divorce) or widowed. ”The authority of father in a family should be respected under any circumstances”). a wife’s job is to look after the home and family”). relationships inside the family (e. Using these questions. respectively....e. 3.1. ”A husband’s job is to earn money.1 Marital Status Respondents’ marital status is captured by a set of dummy variables that take the value of 1 if the respondent is married. with singles as the baseline category. divorced/separated (i. All questions can be found in Appendix A. and filial piety (e.g. ”Children must make efforts to do something that would bring honor to their parents”) on a scale from 1 to 7 (”strongly disagree” to ”strongly agree”). reflected by different levels of marital satisfaction. Respondents are considered to be traditionalist if they answered with the most extreme category to more than two of the statements.1. I construct an index to determine which individuals are traditionalist and which individuals are non-traditionalist.2 9 .g. ”It is all right for a couple to live together without intending to get married”.. which corresponds to approximately 33% of the total sample.g. 3.2 Traditional Attitudes The EASS contains eighteen questions on individuals’ atttitudes towards marriage in general (e.

3. In order to control for possible differences in happiness between the sexes. but if gender differences are found.1 Gender Previous research on gender differences in happiness levels has shown inconclusive results.2. income. 1999). leading to higher levels of reported happiness. with 1 being ”completely dissatisfied” and 5 being ”completely satisfied”.. The selection of these control cariables is based on previous reported relations in the literature on happiness research. living situation. the EASS contains a series of standard background questions.2 Control Variables Finally. how would you describe your marriage? Would you say that you are very satisfied or dissatisfied with your marriage?” Respondents could answer this question on a scale from 1 to 5. 10 .3 Marital Satisfaction The EASS contains a question on marital satisfaction with the following wording: ”Considering all things together.g. education. I included a dummy variable that is coded as 1 if the respondent is female. 3. and country of residence.3. women usually report higher levels of happiness (Diener et al. e. I use this question as a measure of marital satisfaction that can provide marriage-based utility gains. I use several of those variables as controls in the happiness regressions.1. on respondents’ employment status.

with some earlier studies suggesting that happiness declines with age (Wilson 1967). 3. I included respondents’ age as a control variable in the regressions. Hayo and Seifert 2003). All respondents were asked to rate their health status on a scale from 1 to 5. others finding a U-shaped relationship with young and old individuals being happier than middle-aged ones (Christoph and Noll 2003.2. 3. In order to control for the possibility that age affects happiness. ”very good”. 1999). 11 .3.2 Age Previous research on happiness across the life span has shown inconclusive results. so I included information on self-reported health as a control variable in the regressions. with individuals who report better health status being happier as well (Diener et al. and finally others suggesting that happiness is constant across the life span (Diener and Suh 1998). The highest value (5) now corresponds to the best self-reported health category. i.2. I re-coded the variable in order to assign higher values to a better health status to make its interpretation more intuitive.3 Self-reported health status Previous research suggests that self-reported health status is strongly correlated with happiness. for example. with 1 meaning ”very good” and 5 meaning ”very bad”.2.e.4 Education Previous research on the relationship between an individuals’ level of formal education and happiness has shown inconclusive results (see.

The baseline category is Japan. more household chores (especially if the respondent alone is responsible for them) or because of lack of financial resources in larger households. 3.5 Number of family members Household size might affect the respondent’s happiness in a positive way because of the existence of close and supportive relationships with family members (see. and I included two dummy variables that take the value of 1 if the respondent lives in Korea or in Taiwan.2. 12 . respectively.2.6 Country of residence As the data set consists of respondents in three different countries. I included information on the number of household members as a control variable. Stutzer 2004). for example. However. one could also imagine the opposite case where a large family size affects respondent’s happiness in a negative way because of stressful relationships with family members. In order to control for possible differences in happiness among individuals with different levels of formal education. I include a control variable for their country of residence. In order to control for the possibility that the number of family members living with the respondent affects his or her happiness.Haller and Hadler 2006). 3. I included the natural logarithm of the number of years of education that respondents have received.

being in school. 3.2. I included a control variable on individuals’ employment status. I included information on the number of the respondent’s children as a control variable.7 Employment Status Previous research suggests that paid employment has a positive effect on individuals’ happiness (see. 1999). or university training. (forthcoming)). In order to control for that fact.3. working part-time. In order to control for the possible influence of the presence of offspring on happiness.8 Number of children Previous research suggests that the presence of children has an impact on individuals’ happiness (see. for example Kohler et al. being permanently disabled. being retired.9 Household income Previous research suggests that there are small but significant positive correlations between personal income and happiness (Diener et al. Employment status is coded as a dummy variable that takes the value of 1 if the respondent said she or he was unemployed. being a homemaker and not being in the labor force). for instance. 3.2. vocational. I included a set of 9 dummy variables that take the value of 1 if the respondent belongs to the second up to the tenth decile of the respective country’s income distribution 13 . being self-employed or a helping family member. 2005 or Vanassche et al. Clark and Oswald 1994 or Hayo and Seifert 2003). In order to control for the respondent’s general financial situation.2. and the value of 0 otherwise (including working full-time.

how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?”.3 For example. As in previous research. two interesting facts stand out. While they should also benefit from the existence of a partner much like married individuals do. married individuals report the highest levels of happiness. I am going to present some descriptive statistics on the relationship between marital status and happiness and on the differences between traditionalists and non-traditionalists. In addition. with 1 being very dissatisfied and 5 being very satisfied. with the first (lowest) income decile being the baseline category. ”fairly” or ”somewhat agree” that it is okay for a couple to live together without intending to get married. cohabiting individuals report by far the lowest levels of happiness. This non-compliance with social norms can lead to lower utility levels for the divorced individuals. 14 . [Insert Table 2 about here] The first table displays the marital status of respondents and mean values for their response to the question ”All things considered. they differ in one key aspect: widowed individuals had complied with social norms to get married in the past. but have not obtained it yet). but separated or divorced ones have broken social norms. only about 25% of individuals ”strongly”. While both widowed and divorced or separated individuals have lost their partner. in the EASS 2006. widowed individuals report higher levels of happiness than divorced or separated individuals (who plan to get a divorce. Secondly.3 Descriptive Statistics In the following. Firstly. they are also potentially breaking social norms.respectively. 3.

I augment a standard OLS happiness regression by several dummy variables and interaction terms. Finally. with 5 being ”very satisfied”). divorced. A higher number of traditionalist individuals is married. The next section presents the estimation strategy and estimation results. Because of the difficulties associated with the interpretation of interaction terms in nonlinear models (Ai and Norton 2003). and traditionalist individuals report slightly higher levels of marital satisfaction than non-traditionalists. I also entered interaction terms between marital status and having traditional values as well as between marital satisfaction and traditional values in order to 15 . Finally. and a variable measuring individuals’ self-rated marital satisfaction (on a scale from 1 to 5. widowed). traditionalists are on average about 4 years older and have about 2 years less education than non-traditionalists. In order to test the theoretical predictions about possible identity-based utility gains. 4 Estimation strategy and results Ferrer i Carbonell and Frijters (2004) show that assuming cardinality or ordinality matters only little for results in happiness research. In addition to dummy variables for marital status (married.[Insert Table 3 about here] This table displays differences between traditional and non-traditional individuals in terms of marital status and marital satisfaction. I estimated simple ordinary least squares (OLS) models instead of ordered probit or logits. I entered a dummy variable for being a traditionalist. All differences are statistically significant at the 1% level.

such as approval or disapproval from them (Ij and a−j in equation (1)). Finally. the control vector Xi contains standard controls in happiness research for an individual’s gender. as well as additional robustness checks using only subsamples (men vs. 5%. Robust standard errors are given in parentheses. country of residence. Full regression results can be found in Appendix B. and the decile in the income distribution of the respective country which the respondent belongs to.test whether the effects of the mere fact of being married and marital satisfaction are indeed different for traditionalists and non-traditionalists. I also entered interaction terms for the marital status of being divorced and being widowed with traditional values. while marital status serves as a measure for identity-based utility gains and utility gains caused by other individuals’ actions. **. household size. employment status. Similarly. This leads to the following estimation equation. age. and 10%. happinessi = β1 + δ2 maritalstatus i + δ3 traditionali + β4 maritalsatisf action + δ5 maritalstatus i ∗ traditionali + δ6 maritalsatisf actioni ∗ traditionali + β7 Xi + i The following table displays results from a standard OLS regression. respectively. women and separate regressions for the three countries included in 16 . number of children. ***. Marital satisfaction serves as a measure for marriage-based utility gains (aj in equation (1)). and * denote significance levels of 1%. the log of education years. self-rated health status.

It also provides evidence for the hypothesis that non-traditionalists only marry if they find a partner with whom the match quality is sufficiently good. shows that they are highly significant together (F (2. 5413) = 125.the sample).0000). but the effect is not statistically significant. prob > F = 0. consequently. mutual support and companionship. As predicted by the theoretical considerations. [Insert Table 4 about here] The first interesting result is that the simple fact of being married decreases happiness for non-traditionalists. more traditional individuals seem to be less satisfied with their marriages. however. As predicted by the theoretical considerations. the simple fact of being married increases utility for traditionalists. The next interesting finding is that very traditional individuals report higher levels of happiness. as shown by the negative effect of the interaction term traditional∗maritalsatisf action. A tentative explanation might be that traditionalists’ values are associated with less questioning about the meaning of life and. but not for the mere fact of being married. or the provision of services for which there are no or imperfect markets (Kohler et al. This provides empirical evidence for the existence of benefits from marriage in terms of specialization of partners.31. higher levels of reported satisfaction. The reason for this 17 . 2005). while marital satisfaction increases happiness for them. A Wald test for the joint significance of the two variables married and married ∗ traditional. This finding suggests that there is indeed an additional identity-based utility gain from the fact of being married for traditionalist individuals.

nontraditionalists suffer from divorce-related stress. I find that non-traditional divorce(e)s are less happy than singles. Next. the interaction term traditional ∗ maritalsatisf action is still negative but becomes insignificant in all robustness checks. The control variables show some interesting results as well. This provides further evidence for identity-based happiness gains from the simple fact of being married for traditionalist individuals. for women and for each of the three countries separately. which is not a standard result in the previous literature. for example. For widowed and divorced individuals. but again. For divorced individuals. Women are found to be happier than men in the three East Asian countries that I analyzed. then usually women are found to be happier than men (see. Diener et al. This goes in line with previous research findings: if gender differences are found. the theoretical predictions are not confirmed by my estimations. the interaction term married ∗ traditional is positive albeit insignificant. older individuals are found to be happier. This suggests that even though they probably do not to care about social norms. I carried out robustness checks (see Table 7 in Appendix B) using various subsamples and running regressions for men. No statistically significant effects are found for the effect of widowhood on happiness. Wald tests show that the two variables married and married ∗ traditional are always highly significant together. Finally. 1999). In addition. The higher happi18 . compared to non-traditionalists. The results for marital satisfaction and the simple fact of being married remain unchanged in all five estimations.might be the lower match quality of traditionalists’ marriages. As in the regression for the whole sample.

and very few received appropriate treatment for their condition. This might be part of the reason why Korean respondents are significantly less happy than those in the other two countries. More educated women are happier. They also resport that only few respondents seek help for their symptoms. or retired. and Spector et al. and unemployed individuals are less happy than those working full. compared to American employees) and resulting higher levels of happiness once ”examination hell” and stressful work life are over. Fourth.ness levels of older individuals might be explained by the high levels of stress that most individuals in East Asian countries experience during their school and work years (see.. the sixth decile of the income distribution 19 . Third. Ohayon and Hong (2006) present results on the prevalence of major depressive disorder in Korean adults and find that about 20% of respondents in their sample suffer from depression symptoms. Fifth. individuals in better health status are also happier. I find positive effects of income on happiness starting from the upper half of the income distribution (i. 2008 for the high levels of job stress and depression among Korean employees. Lee and Larson 1999 for the case of Korean students. being in school. I do not find any significant relationship between household size or the number of one’s own children and respondents’ happiness. for example. but there is no such effect for male respondents in the sample. and respondents in Taiwan are found to be significantly happier than those in Japan. Park et al. being a homemaker. as reported in the previous literature.or part-time.e. 2001 for the higher psychological strains of Japanese and Taiwanese employees. respondents in Korea are found to be significantly less happy than those in Japan.

traditionalists should.and above). for example. but also through identitybased utility gains for traditionalist individuals in East Asian countries. 20 . while traditionalists are significantly less satisfied with their marriage. compared to non-traditionalists. Again. be less satisfied with their marriage because they should put more emphasis on the fact of being married and less emphasis on the quality of the match with their spouse. The reason are probable stronger prescriptions to get married among more traditionalist individuals. Although it is not statistically significant. This suggests that they are in marriages with worse match quality. and hence the possibility of identity-based utility gains of marriage for traditionalists. the joint significance of the two variables measuring an individual’s traditional attitudes and an interaction term between marital status and traditional attitudes could not be rejected in a Wald test. The empirical findings show indeed that marital satisfaction increases happiness for non-traditionalists. Diener et al. on average. I find a positive effect of the mere fact of being married for traditionalists. At the same time. this is in line with previous research reporting positive correlations between income and happiness (see. 5 Conclusion This paper presented an empirical test of the prediction that marriage provides utility not only through marital satisfaction. 1999). This suggests that there are indeed identity-based utility gains from marriage for traditionalist individuals in East Asian countries.

The positive relationship between marital satisfaction and happiness should therefore be seen as a correlation and not as a causal effect. there are also several limitations to this study. It could for example be that people who are more satisfied with life in general are more likely to get married and also more satisfied with their marriage. but the very low number of cohabiting couples in the sample made an analysis of this question impossible. as in most other social surveys and comparable datasets. is responsible for the happiness effects of marriage for nontraditionalists. Longitudinal datasets would offer an opportunity to overcome this limitation following from a selection process into marriage. 21 .A last interesting result is the fact that when controlling for marital satisfaction. the mere fact of being married decreases happiness in a statistically significant way. but there is no information on personality traits in the EASS. The first one concerns the lack of information in the dataset used for my empirical analysis. It is. Finally. for example. actually). likely that both overall satisfaction with life or happiness and marital satisfaction are driven by personality traits. a separate analysis of cohabiting couples could provide more insights into the possible differences between cohabitation and marriage and their effects on happiness. This suggests that marital satisfaction (or maybe love. The second one follows from the fact that the EASS is a cross-sectional dataset. However.

but as interpretation is more intuitive for the dummy variable. I decided to use the dummy. how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?”. 2 Results do not change if I use the index instead of this dummy. 1 22 . 3 However. and in the other three countries. I am not going to analyze them in more detail in the estimations. respondents were asked ”All things considered. as the number of cohabiting individuals in the sample is very low. ”All things considered.Notes In China. how happy are you with your life as a whole these days?”.

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87 2.4035 3. Ij ) 0 0 U ( aj . Ij ) + 0 0 U ( aj . Ij ) U ( aj . but married 0. never married 17.86% 68.7143 Table 3: Characteristics of traditionalists and non-traditionalists Traditionalist Non-Traditionalist Two-sample t-test statistics Married 72.3565 2. a−j .20 12. Ij ) Table 2: Marital status and happiness levels Percent married.1542 Marital satisfaction 2. living as married 70. a−j .54 5.8042 n 1754 3688 df = 5440 25 .74% 3.0476 3.07% widowed 8.8765 Years of education 10.62 47.29% divorced 4.17% separated.13% Total 5442 Happiness 3. a−j .46 8.6 Tables Table 1: Categories and choices Complier: married/widowed 0 + + Non-Complier: single/divorced/cohabiting 0 +.8304 Age 51.0 − − Ca (Traditionalist) Cb (Non-traditionalist) U ( aj .1165 3.5202 3.39% single. a−j .48% cohabiting 0.29 16.

074] traditional * married 0.168] traditional * marital satisfaction -0.027 [0.218*** [0.27 26 .081] traditional * widowed 0. and happiness: OLS regression results Happiness Marital satisfaction 0.121 [0.Table 4: Marriage.118] 1 = divorced -0.094] 1 = very traditional 0.037] 1 = widowed -0.168] Observations 5442 R-squared 0.399*** [0.063* [0.015 [0.353*** [0.083] traditional * divorced -0.169** [0.021] 1 = married -1.145 [0. traditional values.

0871 0. would you prefer a boy or a girl? (boy: traditional) • Who do you think is most responsible for taking care of old parents? (eldest son: traditional) To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements? • Husband should be older than wife (completely agree: traditional) • It is not necessary to have children in marriage (completely disagree: traditional) • Married men are generally happier than unmarried men (completely agree: traditional) 27 .3487 3.1355 16 1 1 1 12 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.5784 1.4580 0.3166 0.4986 16.3193 0.4800 0.9104 0.7150 0.2 Questions used for constructing the Traditional Values Index • If you were to have only one child.2622 0.2564 Min 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Max 5 5 1 1 1 1 1 92 5 3.7007 0. 0.5382 48.7 7.9534 1.2585 0.9131 0.8014 3. Dev.0417 0.0362 0.4616 0.2066 1.1130 0.2619 0.4683 2.8307 0.6477 0.2836 0.5932 2.4379 0.3223 0.4674 0.2637 0.0600 0.1868 0.1 Appendix A Complete summary statistics Table 5: Complete summary statistics Variable Happiness Marital satisfaction Married Very traditional Widowed Divorced Female Age Health status Log of education years Household size Korea Taiwan Unemployed Number of children Second income decile Third income decile Fourth income decile Fifth income decile Sixth income decile Seventh income decile Eighth income decile Ninth income decile Tenth income decile Obs 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 5442 Mean 3.0752 0.0742 0.0741 0.2780 1.2757 0.2000 0.0829 0.3598 0.1152 0.0447 1.2820 0.0882 0.0707 Std.

it is all right for women to be laid-off prior to men (completely agree: traditional) • The authority of father in a family should be respected under any circumstances (completely agree: traditional) • Children must make efforts to do something that would bring honor to their parents (completely agree: traditional) • The eldest son should inherit a larger share of the property (completely agree: traditional) • A child who has taken good care of parents should inherit a larger share of the property (completely agree: traditional) • To continue the family line. a wife’s job is to look after the home and family (completely agree: traditional) • Men ought to do a larger share of household work than they do now (completely disagree: traditional) • During economic recession. a married woman should help husband’s family first (completely agree: traditional) • One must put familial well-being and interest before one’s own (completely agree: traditional) 28 .• Married women are generally happier than unmarried women (completely agree: traditional) • It is all right for a couple to live together without intending to get married (completely disagree: traditional) • People who want to divorce must wait until children are grown up (completely agree: traditional) • Divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can’t seem to work out their marriage (completely disagree: traditional) • It is more important for a wife to help her husband’s career than to pursue her own career (completely agree: traditional) • A husband’s job is to earn money. one must have at least one son (completely agree: traditional) • If husband’s family and wife’s family need help at the same time.

traditional values.218*** [0.046] 0. and happiness: Full results Marital satisfaction 1 = married 1 = very traditional traditional * married traditional * marital satisfaction 1 = widowed traditional * widowed 1 = divorced traditional * divorced 1 = female age health log of education years number of family members 1 = Korea 1 = Taiwan 1 = unemployed Number of kids Second income decile Third income decile Fourth income decile Fifth income decile Sixth income decile Seventh income decile Eighth income decile Ninth income decile Tenth income decile Constant Observations R-squared Happiness 0.031] -0.008] -0.122] 5442 0.169** [0.027 [0.069 [0.254*** [0.27 .094] 0.191*** [0.168] -0.004 [0.004*** [0.049 [0.034 [0.033] 0.063* [0.023] 0.118] -0.037] -0.046] 0.145 [0.8 Appendix B Table 6: Marriage.043] 0.353*** [0.166*** [0.001] 0.168] 0.013] 0.211*** [0.044] -0.044] 0.013] -0.081] 0.047] 0.021] -1.006 [0.083] -0.132*** [0.074] 0.326*** [0.152** [0.121 [0.062] 0.047] 1.060] -0.085* [0.922*** [0.045] 0.002 [0.015 [0.399*** [0.299*** [0.023 [0.214*** [0.028] -0.

2052) = 50.046] -0.065] 0.191 [0.057] 0.144] 0.047] -0.17 0.262] -0.052] 0.273] -0.109] 0.020] -0.023 [0.055 [0.162 [0.057] 0.057] 0.228*** [0.0000 Japan 0.200* [0.188*** [0.294*** [0.024] 0.023] Taiwan 0.045 [0.116] 0.463*** [0.401*** [0.081] 0.094] 0.107] 0.132 [0.091 [0.006*** [0.041 [0.020] -0.408 [0.020] -0.021] 0.006 [0.036 [0.158 [0.265*** [0.016] 0.194 [0.051] -1.057 [0.083 [0.162 [0.344*** [0.188*** [0.23 F(2.073] 2.180] 0.458*** [0.08 [0.161 [0.180] 2512 0.001] 0.178* [0.171] 0.042 [0.2485) = 41.1382) = 35.003* [0.17 [0.048] -0.393*** [0.072] 0.198*** [0.0000 -0.90 0.168] 1958 0.545*** [0.104] 0.267*** [0.044] 0.074] 0.095 [0.085] 0.015 [0.252 [0.066] 0 [0.005 [0.077] 2.251] 0.191] -0.429*** [0.149] 2929 0.021] -0.297] 2076 0.351*** [0.006*** [0.042 [0.060] 0.074] 0.22 F(2.216*** [0.211*** [0.293** [0.041] -0.011] -0.142** [0.003] 0.136] 0.001 [0.027 [0.002] 0.484] 0.049** [0.342*** [0.33 0.079] 0.18 F(2.216] 0.135] -0.216* [0. years number of family members 1 = Korea 1 = Taiwan 1 = unemployed Number of kids Second income decile Third income decile Fourth income decile Fifth income decile Sixth income decile Seventh income decile Eighth income decile Ninth income decile Tenth income decile Constant Observations R-squared Wald test Prob > F Women 0.3 F(2.843*** [0.391** [0.381 [0.322*** [0.079] 2.024 [0.315** [0.118] 0.128 [0.012] -0.036] 0.122] 0.046 [0.022 [0.412*** [0.223] -0.163] 0.115] 0.1933) = 27.31 F(2.073] 0.063 [0.412*** [0.384*** [0.041 [0.253*** [0.027 [0.011 [0.012] -0.314] -0.079 [0.028] 0.247] -0.071] 0.086] 0.059] 0.080] 0.057] 0.120] 0.000] 0.026 [0.109] 0.134** [0.117 [0.04 [0.116*** [0.068] -0.013 [0.151] 0.027] -1.097] 0.063] 0.037 [0.040] -1.018 [0.126] 2.014] Korea 0.072] -0.0000 .134 [0.083] 0.063] 2.087] 0.016] 0.2902) = 85.124] 0.045 [0.311*** [0.406] -0.0000 Men 0.116] 0.177 [0.174] -0.123] -0.084] 0.347] -0.041 [0.278 [0.374*** [0.069] -0.0000 -0.376*** [0.215] 0.153] -0.Table 7: Robustness checks: subsamples Marital satisfaction 1 = married 1 = very traditional traditional * married traditional * marital satisfaction 1 = widowed traditional * widowed 1 = divorced traditional * divorced age health log of educ.279*** [0.326*** [0.061 [0.003 [0.028 [0.092] 0 [0.060] 0.115] 0.002] 0.255] -0.032 [0.080*** [0.003 [0.015 [0.037] -0.079 [0.008 [0.228*** [0.356*** [0.054 [0.067] 0.084 [0.189** [0.112] 0.060] 0.088* [0.154] 0.36 0.003 [0.013 [0.057 [0.059] 0.257*** [0.057] 0.058 [0.247*** [0.065] -0.138 [0.246*** [0.03 [0.001] 0.020] 0.059] -0.545*** [0.244] 0.102* [0.223*** [0.060] 0.242] 0 [0.128*** [0.069* [0.228] 0.058 [0.250] 1407 0.098] 0.085] 0.141** [0.118] 0.252*** [0.027] -1.131] -0.32 0.035] -1.079] -0.096] 0.093] 0.056 [0.264] -0.006 [0.176* [0.173** [0.080] 0.