What Money Can and Cannot Buy: Divorce, Gender, and Health

Jui-Chung A. Li, RAND
Nelson Lim, RAND

In this paper, we apply two newly developed propensity score methods to examine the effects of divorce on health for divorced adults using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (that have not been analyzed before for this purpose). The first method is a hazard-model approach that addresses the issue that selection into divorce may not only be static but dynamic. The second method is a doubly-robust estimator that further ensures that our estimates will be resistant to potential model misspecification. Preliminary findings (based on the first method) suggest that divorce has a negative effect on mental health for both divorced men and women. Divorce also has a negative effect on divorced women's physical health and general health status, but no effect on divorced men's physical health and general health status.

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Presented in Session 75: Gender, Marriage and Mortality