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The Empirical Content of Marital Surplus in Matching Models

SOEPpapers 995, 10, 9 S.

Karina Doorley, Arnaud Dupuy, Simon Weber


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This note investigates the extent to which structural estimates of marital surplus are informative about subjective well-being and separation. We first estimate the marital surplus using a simple matching model of the marriage market with perfectly transferable utility and heterogeneity in tastes applied to a rich German panel dataset. We then show that these estimates of the marital surplus are negatively correlated with separation and the difference in spouses’ subjective satisfaction.

Topics: Well-being, Family

Keywords: Matching market, marital surplus, subjective well-being, separation
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