Friday, July 31, 2009

And more on marriage

It makes us live longer by making us happier

Cahit Guven and Rudolph Saloumidis from Deakin University:

Why is the world getting older? The influence of happiness on mortality

"World life expectancy has risen by around 20 years in the last 50 years.
This period has also witnessed rising happiness levels around the world sug-
gesting that happiness might be one of the causes behind the decline in
mortality. We investigate the relationship between happiness and mortality
using the German Socio-Economic Panel. We consider doctor visits, self-
reported health, and presence of chronic illness as health measures. After
controlling for initial health conditions, we nd that happiness extends life
expectancy. 10 percent increase in happiness decreases probability of death
by four percent, and this e ect is more pronounced for men and younger
people. Happiness plays a more important role for chronically ill people in
decreasing mortality than for those who are not chronically ill. The positive
influence of happiness on mortality can o set the negative impact of chronic
illness. Marriage decreases mortality and this e ect appears to work through
increased happiness."

But more so for men - it's a fascinating paper.

Influence Happiness Mortality