"This is why we do it"
Article sourced from my institutional intranet. And with married bliss on my doorstep, I'm excited...
New research carried out by Applied Microeconometrics researcher Nattavudh Powdthavee reveals that a married man or woman is significantly more satisfied with their life when their partner is satisfied with theirs. However, he found almost no evidence that unmarried couples share the same bond.
The research was presented at the Royal Economic Society's Annual Conference in March. Data was analysed from 9,704 married couples and 3,300 couples who live together - collected from 1996 to 2000 and in 2002 as part of the British Household Panel Survey. The results suggests that marriage is an exchange in which two parties agree to share, not only material possessions but also experiences of good and bad times, as well as other non-material things that matter to individuals' happiness.
The research revealed that a 30% increase in the spouse's life satisfaction score from the previous year can completely offset the negative impact of unemployment on the respondent's life satisfaction. It is also significantly greater than the effect of owning one's home outright, and is equal to not having to spend around two months in hospital in the previous year.
The same test was carried out for cohabiting couples - and revealed that they did not experience the same level of shared emotions. Lead researcher Nick Powdthavee said: "It's possible that cohabiting people care more about personal autonomy and less about each other's well-being."