Saturday, February 14, 2009
Marriage Makes One Fat? Study Says: 'Yes, It Does.'
Uri Gneezy and Jason Shafrin's study is entitled: "Why Does Getting Married Make You Fat? Incentives and Appearance Maintenance."
The abstract says:
"Married individuals weight more on average than non-married individuals. We suggest that exiting the dating market decreases one’s incentive to maintain their appearance and thus leads to an increase in body weight. The paper uses a 13 year panel data set and exploits variation in the type of domestic relationship in order to pinpoint how exiting the dating market affects body weight. We find a positive correlation between the strength of the domestic relationships in terms of probability of termination and weight gain."
A couple of paragraphs from the study say:
"In this paper we test the appearance maintenance hypothesis empirically using a 13 year panel data set from the Netherlands. We exploit variation in the type of domestic relationships to see whether individuals in domestic relationships with a higher
probability of termination will gain less weight than those who enter into domestic relationships where the probability the relationship will terminate is lower. We find that individuals who enter into cohabitation relationships gain less weight than those who enter into traditional marriage relationships.
Further, we observe that having a child reduces the probability that a relationship terminates. The marginal impact of having a child decreases the probability a couple separates more for cohabitators and marriages with a prenuptial agreement than for couples in traditional marriages; traditional marriages already had a lower separation probability so the marginal effect of having a child is less than is the case for cohabitators or marriages with prenuptial agreements. As our theory predicts, married individuals with a prenuptial agreement gain more weight after having a child than would be the case when an individual in a traditional marriage has a child. For cohabitators the results are imprecise because fewer cohabitators have children than married couples. Overall, our results show a correlation between the probability a domestic relationship will terminate and subsequent weight gain.:
Read it all via Tyler Cowen blog, MR.
graph per google images